In these warmer months, it’s nice to have a sip of a refreshing beverage to cool you down. Many of us go for something that reminds us of summers past, like lemonade or cola. While these drinks might remind us of times gone by, they can also be loaded with added sugar.
hero_image_alt_text===Kids enjoying water
thumbnail_alt_text===Kids enjoying water
Sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the average diet in the United States. An average child in the US consumes enough sugar from sugared add beverages to fill a bathtub full Every. Year. A diet with too much sugar can raise the risk of unhealthy weight, heart disease, stroke, and type-II diabetes. Just one sugar-sweetened beverage a day can raise your chances of high blood pressure and heart disease! So, how do we keep our summery drinks but ditch the sugar? Luckily, there are many ways to do it!
I know…I know… “but water is boring!” Well- it is still important to drink it for heart health and overall health, but what if you could make it tasty? Try infusing your water with fruits or herbs. It’s easy and it tastes great! They have pitchers or water bottles with a basket inside them, but you can just put it all into a glass or a pitcher for the same results. Just put any herbs or fruit (even veggies like cucumbers!) you want into the water and let it sit. The harder the fruit the longer it will take to infuse, but it does not take long to get a lot of flavors! For a fresh drink that tastes like summer, try strawberries, lemons, and mint. Strawberry lemonade without all that sickly sweetness! And if you do not have time to wait for the water to infuse many grocery stores carry infused water like “Hint”.
Iced tea/Iced coffee
That midday slump making you reach for an energy drink, but it’s too hot for a cup of coffee or tea? Try it iced! It’s easy to make a big pitcher of your favorite type of brew that will keep you cool and keep you going. Those coffee shop iced coffees are loaded with sugar- sometimes 4 times more than a serving of ice cream! Splash a little milk of your choice in your iced coffee or tea to make it creamy. You can even blend for a tasty frozen drink. Not a caffeine person? Try a fruity herbal iced tea and feel refreshed any time of day.