4 Great Alternatives to Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks like soda are often tempting options when you’re thirsty or craving an energy kick. But the fact is, our bodies are not able to register the calories from sugary drinks the same way as calories from solid foods. This means that when you drink soda, you end up consuming more calories without the nutritional benefits. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and all sorts of health problems. Soda can also be dehydrating, so next time you go to grab a drink, consider one of these alternatives:
Homemade juices or smoothies: Pre-packaged fruit juices contain a lot of sugar and can be just as unhealthy as soda. But if you can make your own smoothie or juice using healthy ingredients, they’re a good way to get some of the nutrients your body needs, and the high water content in fruits and vegetables will add to your hydration. Resist the temptation use too many ingredients with added or even naturally occurring sugars. Don’t just focus on fruits; add some healthy greens like kale, or avocado for creaminess instead of yogurt.
Tea: Tea is a great go-to if you need something to sip on. Many teas, especially green tea, are full of antioxidants which can help reduce the risk of health problems. And home-brewed iced tea with lemon is a great option for quenching thirst in the summer months.
Coffee: While coffee often gets a bad rap, it is actually high in antioxidants, and there is some evidence to show that coffee drinkers live longer, and have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and numerous other diseases. If you need a caffeine boost, simple is key–try to avoid an ultra-sugary coffee drink and stick to the basics like a latte or plain black coffee.
Water: Water—you can never drink too much of it! Making sure you’re properly hydrated will help you perform better physical and mentally. It’s not always fun to drink, but you can get in the habit of drinking more water by having a water bottle on hand wherever you go. You may just find yourself unconsciously sipping it!