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Calculate how you can balance the calories in your favourite Coca-Cola drink
with those used up by popular exercises, pastimes and household tasks.
A calorie is a unit for measuring the energy that your body uses to carry out everyday activities. These activities may include exercises such as walking, running and swimming as well as ‘involuntary’ activities like breathing, maintaining a stable body temperature and digesting food.
Fats, carbohydrates and protein are the key nutrients that provide the body with energy. The amount of energy contained in 1g of any of the above nutrients can be expressed in calories. Alcohol also provides energy.
Kilocalories are the measure used most often to indicate how many calories are in foods and drinks. This is to help make labels clearer and easier to understand, as a calorie (1/1000 of a kilocalorie) is a very small unit of measurement and calculating the number of calories in foods and drinks would become too complicated. The abbreviation kcal is widely used. To keep it simple, kilocalories are often referred to simply as “calories.”
Kilojoules (kJ) is another unit used for measuring the amount of energy contained within foods and drinks. Fewer people use kJ when trying to track their energy intake, but you will see the energy content of foods and drinks listed in kJ on packaging in accordance with EU law.
1 kcal equals approximately 4.2 kJ.
When it comes to managing your weight, it’s important to balance the calories you take in with the calories you burn each day. You can do this by eating a well-balanced diet and enjoying regular physical activity.
There is widespread agreement and it’s generally accepted that weight gain is primarily the result of an imbalance of energy expenditure and energy consumption – specifically too many calories eaten or drunk and not enough calories used up through activity.
Did you know? This concept of balancing calories in and out to achieve a healthy weight is what experts refer to as ‘energy balance’.
People eat and drink many different things so no single food or beverage alone is responsible for people becoming overweight or obese. However, all calories count, whatever food or beverage they come from – including those from our calorie containing drinks.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important because there are health risks associated with being overweight and obese, as well as with being underweight.
Use a BMI Calculator to find out whether you're a healthy weight. BMI stands for Body Mass Index, which is a measure used by health professionals to assess how much you weigh in relation to how tall you are.
If you have a high BMI (greater than 25) this means you weigh more for your height than is considered healthy and may face health problems associated with being overweight. A person with a BMI greater than 30 may face health problems associated with being obese. A BMI of 20 – 25 signals that your weight falls within a healthy range. Meanwhile, a low BMI (less than 20) indicates that you may be underweight and at risk of the illnesses associated with this. To find out more about Body Mass Index, visit the NHS website. Other useful measures of obesity include waist circumference and skin-fold thickness.
On average, to fuel the body properly and maintain a healthy weight, adults need about 2,000 calories per day. You can read more about Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) by clicking on the tab to the right.
While GDAs are useful, they are not 'targets' that people should aim for and cannot be applied to absolutely everyone.
Did you know? The 'right' energy balance for anyone will depend on many factors, including their gender, age, body size and level of physical activity.
This Calorie Needs Calculator tool is available on the Coca-Cola Live Positively website (GB) that can help you work out how many calories you need to consume each day, in order to maintain your current weight. However, do note that calculations are only indicative – the amount of calories an individual needs each day will depend on many factors that an online tool can't take into account.
Alternatively, if you need to lose or put on weight, your doctor will be able to advise you on an appropriate way to achieve this. You should always consult a doctor before making dramatic changes to your diet or exercise routine, or if you suspect you have a medical condition that may be affected as a result of changes in your diet or level of activity.
Meanwhile, if you've experienced a sudden or unexpected change in your weight, it's important to consult your GP immediately.
All foods and drinks can have a place in a well-balanced diet that is combined with regular physical activity.
Experts agree that the key to maintaining a healthy weight is balancing calories consumed with calories burned. However, it's also important to ensure that your daily diet provides the variety of nutrients you need for good health.
Fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and lean meats and fish should all feature in a healthy diet.
It's also important to be aware that, even if your diet is nutritionally well balanced, consuming too much of any food can contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain. To ensure your diet is healthy, don't forget to keep an eye on your portion sizes, and how often you consume those portions.
A calorie counts for the same, whether it comes from a carrot or a sparkling drink – but there are nutritional differences between foods and drinks that you must also take into account.
Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) can help you manage your intake of calories, fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt. You should bear these in mind when choosing food and drinks on a daily basis.
Your body can't run on calories alone, so it's also important to make yourself aware of the recommended amounts of nutrients your body needs. You should ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body requires each day, as well as the right amount of energy.
Did you know? Coca-Cola publishes GDA information on product labels, providing calorie and nutrient information that will help you place our drinks within the context of your daily diet.
There are also calorie free versions of many popular branded drinks, such as Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite Zero, Dr Pepper Zero and Fanta Zero.
Sparkling drinks sweetened with sugar contain water that helps contribute to your recommended daily fluid intake, and carbohydrate calories that the body can use as fuel for daily activities.
However, all foods and drinks have the potential to contribute excess calories to your diet – so it's important to be mindful of the total amount of calories you consume, including those that come from sparkling drinks, alcoholic drinks and other beverages.
Drinks that contain calories can be part of an active, healthy lifestyle, but they should not be the only drinks you consume.
All foods and drinks can play a part in a healthy and balanced diet - including calorie containing sparkling drinks.
However, any food or drink can cause you to become overweight or obese if too much of it is consumed, too often. According to NHS guidelines, foods and drinks that are high in sugar should be consumed in small amounts.
Sugars are carbohydrates that are found naturally in many foods – for example, fruits and vegetables. Sugars are also added to foods and drinks to improve their palatability. Sugars, whether they occur naturally, or are added, provide 4 kcal per gram.
At Coca-Cola, we clearly label all our drinks with Guideline Daily Amounts values to help you make informed decisions about which drinks fit your individual needs. We also offer calorie free versions of many of our most popular drinks, including Coke Zero, Sprite Zero and Dr Pepper Zero. These drinks use sweeteners, rather than sugar, to provide sweetness.
Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) are designed to help us understand how much of certain nutrients we should be eating each day.
GDA labels on food and drinks containers, including Coca-Cola drinks packaging, can help you make informed decisions about your diet. GDA labels help to put the nutritional content of foods in context of the overall daily diet. It's important to remember that GDAs are 'guidelines' rather than actual 'targets' that people should aim for. Your individual needs are based on many factors and may vary from the amount used for GDA labelling.
Did you know? You can also find GDA and ingredients information about Coca-Cola drinks here on the Coca-Cola.co.uk website.
The table below sets out the GDAs for five key nutrients, recommended for the average adult.
Nutritional requirements vary from person to person depending on their age, weight, height, gender and level of physical activity – so these guideline values are not precise targets for individuals but are general recommendations based on 'average' people. You can read more about Calories and You by clicking on the tab to the left.
Note: The GDA information published on food packaging, and the information above, reflects the guidelines for women. It is broadly agreed that these can be used instead of separate men's and women's values, and in place of an overall average.
Exercise has many vital benefits, but many people in the UK are not active enough to maintain a healthy energy balance.
Our Work It Out Calculator features great ideas for activities that will help you maintain a healthy balance between the number of calories you consume and the amount you use up each day. Even simple activities like gardening, walking and doing the housework can help to burn off calories.
However old you are, scientific evidence suggests that regular exercise can help you lead a healthier and happier life.
If you're thinking of starting an exercise programme for the first time or haven't exercised for a long period of time, you should consult with a doctor before doing so.
Research shows that people who take regular exercise have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases, will benefit from improved physical health, may be less likely to suffer from mental health problems and will also have an enhanced quality of life.
NHS guidelines state that in order to stay healthy or improve their health, adults should do at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week. The NHS website provides tips on how to begin working up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
Aerobic exercise is activity that raises your heart rate and causes you to feel out of breath – for example fast walking, pushing your lawn mower or riding a bicycle on level ground. You'll find lots of ideas for taking part in moderate aerobic activities in our Work It Out Calculator.
Did you know? If an individual had to lose weight, he or she would need to burn more calories than normal or consume fewer calories than they were used to, or both. This concept of balancing calories in and out to achieve a healthy weight is what experts refer to as ‘energy balance’.
Low intensity activities such as strolling to the shops and dusting your home don't count towards your recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week because they require less effort and won't raise your heart rate or cause you to lose your breath.
However, all physical activity is positive for health, so get moving and keep moving! Taking part in low intensity activities (examples of which you'll find listed in the Work It Out Calculator) will still burn calories – just at a lower rate than moderate or high intensity activities.
Low intensity exercise doesn't have the same health benefits as aerobic exercises that demand more energy, so your target should be to increase your physical activity to 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) per week. This will help to ensure you are optimising your health, and that you benefit from all the advantages exercise has to offer.
You can read about Coca-Cola's commitment to encouraging active, healthy lifestyles in the Health section of our website.
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Figures are calculated based on the energy expenditure of a typical UK female of 60kg.
Remember, all individuals' expenditures vary based on many factors, and yours may vary from the amount shown.
Calculations based on the following source: McArdle, W.D., Katch F.I. And Katch, V.L. ‘Exercise Physiology’. (Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1986), pp. 642-649.
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