You’ve all probably been told that the absolute best drink for you, from a health standpoint, is water. That’s absolutely true. Being made up of over 70% water, our bodies need replenishing on a daily basis! Not drinking enough water can lead to a host of health difficulties, ranging from skin issues to kidney stones to constipation. But don’t worry – this isn’t one of those articles that advises you to just stick to water. Drinking delicious hot and cold drinks is enjoyable, comforting and encourages us to get enough fluids. Drinks are also a great vehicle to get other things into our bodies. This is great when it’s vitamins, minerals and fibre – but not so great when it’s sugar and transfats! So which drinks are the safest indulgences? Read on to find out.
Of course, not all hot chocolate is created equal. In some cafes, hot chocolate packs more calories from fat than a serving of chips! Skip out on the whip and ask for low-fat milk. Of course, the best is to make it at home – a tablespoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder and two packets of artificial sweetener like Stevia, plus a cup of nonfat milk – under 100 calories.
Most versions of this contain sugary cinnamon-flavoured syrups – you consume as much sugar per serving as you would eating multiple chocolate bars! Just make your own – simmer some apple cider with orange zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves for five minutes or so. Under 100 calories a cup!
Most mulled wine, aside from delicious spices, contains 7-8 tsp of added sugar. You can make your own, healthier version by cutting the sugar to half and swapping a quarter cup of port per bottle of wine, rather than brandy. Still delicious!
Well, that depends on how you drink it, of course! Your standard cafe fare is loaded up with whipped cream, sugary syrups, and artificial flavouring – not to mention those packets of sugar you add in. Skimp or cut out the whip, and ask for low-fat milk – and try and avoid those fancy flavours. You don’t need caramel EVERY morning. The best, of course, would be to stick to a classic cappuccino, latte or black coffee with no add-ons except some sugar or the artificial sweetener of your choice.
You may not need this information quite at present – unless you like sipping on chilled drinks while the winter winds blow! To each their own, of course. So whether you bookmark this for summer or start sipping right away, here are the best cold drinks you could be indulging in – skipping out on the nearly 300 calories of added sugar per day most people consume from beverages alone!
This does NOT mean Vitamin Water or other artificially flavoured water! Brew your very own fruit infusions made with Mother Nature’s vitamins. All you have to do is infuse artful combinations of flavourful fruits and herbs in water, from anything from half an hour to overnight. Stumped for ideas? Google ‘infused water’ or drop by Pinterest or Instagram for some insta-ration!
Did you know that one its own, coffee has ZERO calories? All the rest of it comes from our fatty creams and sugary syrups! Drink iced black coffee with some brown sugar or artificial sweetener, and see just how deliciously low-cal coffee can get. Or try a ‘light’ or nonfat option at a cafe sans the whipped cream.
This one’s a no-brainer! Iced tea is great – but it’s often laden with sugar syrup in restaurants and cafes. Make your own – or stick to plain teas (the bottled kind) after checking the label for calories and sugar.
Freshly Squeezed Juice
As you’ve no doubt heard, it’s always best to eat the fruit rather than drinking the juice. When you drink a glass of orange juice, you’re consuming the juice (and fructose – a naturally occurring sugar) of several oranges at once! Commercial juices are also stored for long periods and can lose much of their nutritional value before they ever see the inside of your stomach. Drinking fresh juice lets you get the full nutritional benefit, plus lets you control your intake of fructose. For example, you can ensure you’re drinking the output of just two oranges, versus seven. For a bigger glass, try topping your juice up with soda, ice cold water, or ice cubes. For a twist, freeze another flavour of juice into the ice cubes!
So there you have it! Drink responsibly.