A refreshing cherry limeade from Sonic is a tasty treat on a hot summer day. But before you grab one to quench your thirst, you may be wondering just how many calories are packed into this fruity drink. Understanding the calorie content can help you make informed choices to meet your health and nutrition goals.
The Basics of Cherry Limeades
A cherry limeade is a classic drive-in beverage made from sweet cherry syrup, fresh lime juice, and sparkling soda water. Sonic’s version also contains added sugars to amp up the sweetness. The ingredients combine to create a tangy and tart drink with bright cherry flavors.
Like most soft drinks and sweetened beverages, a cherry limeade is high in calories and sugar. The exact calorie count can vary based on the size you order and customizations added. But in general, a cherry limeade contains a significant amount of calories with minimal nutrition. Let’s take a closer look at the calorie content of Sonic’s cherry limeades.
Calories in a Small Cherry Limeade
If you opt for the smallest size cherry limeade on the Sonic menu, a 12 oz small, you’ll be getting the lowest calorie option. A small cherry limeade from Sonic contains:
- 220 calories
- 58 grams of carbs
- 58 grams of sugar
This calorie count is for a classic small cherry limeade made with Sonic’s standard sweet cherry syrup. Any customizations or additions will increase the calorie content. For example, if you add real cherry juice for extra flavor, that tacks on an extra 20 calories.
Calories in a Medium Cherry Limeade
Bumping up to a medium cherry limeade will mean a bigger calorie load. A 16 oz medium cherry limeade from Sonic has:
- 270 calories
- 70 grams of carbs
- 70 grams of sugar
The medium is about 50 calories more than the small. That’s equivalent to the calories in a slice of bread. The medium also has 12 additional grams of sugar compared to the small. If you want a bigger cherry limeade, expect it to pack a bigger caloric punch.
Calories in a Large Cherry Limeade
Hungry for an extra large cherry limeade? The 24 oz large size has the most calories of all. Here’s the full nutrition info for a large Sonic cherry limeade:
- 400 calories
- 104 grams of carbs
- 104 grams of sugar
Choosing the large cherry limeade adds an extra 180 calories and 46 grams of sugar compared to the small size. That’s a significant calorie hike for just a little more drink. If you’re watching your calorie intake, the large may be too much.
Calories in a Route 44 Cherry Limeade
Sonic’s giant Route 44 drinks take slurping to the next level. And the calorie count matches the jumbo size. A 44 oz Route 44 cherry limeade contains:
- 620 calories
- 162 grams of carbs
- 162 grams of sugar
The Route 44 has over triple the calories and sugar of the small size! It’s more than most people should consume in a single sitting. This massive cherry limeade packs as many calories as three Sonic cheeseburgers. Definitely share this one or sip it slowly over time.
How Sonic’s Cherry Limeade Calories Compare
To put Sonic’s cherry limeade calories into context, here’s how the different sizes stack up against other menu items:
|Small Cherry Limeade
|Medium Cherry Limeade
|Large Cherry Limeade
|Route 44 Cherry Limeade
|Chicken Strip Dinner (3 strips)
As you can see, the calorie count of a cherry limeade is comparable to many classic Sonic food items. A small cherry limeade has fewer calories than a cheeseburger, while a large has nearly as many calories as a SuperSONIC Cheeseburger. When it comes to calories, sweet drinks like cherry limeades impact your daily intake just like burgers and fries.
Ways to Lighten Up Your Cherry Limeade
If you want to enjoy a cherry limeade without all the calories, there are some easy ways to lighten it up. Here are tips for ordering a lower calorie Sonic cherry limeade:
- Go small – Choose the 12 oz size for 220 calories instead of the large with 400 calories.
- Skip the sweetener – Order your cherry limeade with less or no extra sweetener added.
- Add seltzer – Ask for extra soda water to dilute the sweetness and cut back on calories.
- Request light ice – More drink and less ice means a fuller limeade with fewer refills needed.
- Try diet soda – Substitute diet soda to significantly reduce the calorie count.
- Share your drink – Split a larger size with a friend so you each get less.
With some simple tweaks, you can quench your cherry limeade craving for far fewer calories. And be sure to sip slowly to make your treat last longer!
The Nutritional Impact of a Cherry Limeade
While cherry limeades taste great on a hot day, their nutritional value is fairly low. Here is a breakdown of the key nutrients in a standard small cherry limeade from Sonic:
- 220 calories
- 0g fat
- 58g carbs
- 2% DV calcium
- 2% DV vitamin C
- 58g sugar
As you can see, there are no meaningful sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins or minerals. The calories come almost entirely from added sugars. This makes the cherry limeade essentially empty calories and added sugar with minimal nutrition.
Drinking calorie-dense beverages like cherry limeades can bump up your daily calorie intake without making you feel more full. This can lead to weight gain over time when consumed regularly. It’s best to treat them as an occasional indulgence rather than an everyday drink.
Cherry Limeade Calories Compared to Other Drinks
|Calories (12 oz)
|Sonic Cherry Limeade
Compared to other popular beverages, Sonic’s small cherry limeade is relatively high in calories. The calories are more than a glass of juice or soda. So while it tastes refreshing, a cherry limeade is one of the more calorie-dense drinks you can choose.
The Bottom Line
A Sonic cherry limeade can hit the spot on a hot summer day. But it’s important to be mindful of the calorie content, especially in larger sizes. A small cherry limeade has 220 calories, while a Route 44 packs a whopping 620 calories. There are ways to customize your drink to cut back on calories, like skipping the sweetener, diluting with soda water, or ordering the smaller size. Overall, treating a cherry limeade as an occasional treat is your best bet for keeping calories in check.