A Guide to Healthy Drink Options

Trying to live a healthy lifestyle can be an uphill battle with many hidden obstacles. One of the biggest calorie-counting mistakes people make is forgetting about liquid calories. Sodas, teas, cocktails, and even healthy fruit and vegetable juices often contain calories, sugars, and preservatives which should be limited, if not avoided altogether. This simple guide can help keep those sneaky ingredients from ending up on your waistline.

1) Read the labels!

Labels are the best way of determining whether a drink is truly healthy. Don’t just read the front and assume the best. Look closely at the nutrition facts and included ingredients. Remember that the first ingredients listed are in the highest concentration in the beverage. If “sugar” or “high fructose corn syrup” are close to the top of the list, chances are the drink isn’t extremely healthy. Similarly, is there is a long list of complicated or difficult to understand ingredients, it is likely the drink contains preservatives or chemical additives.

2) Sodas are still bad for you.

While the old saying “all things in moderation” still rings true, it is best to remember that almost all sodas contain a laundry list of chemicals, additives, and sugars. Limiting soda intake can help prevent health complications such as urinary tract and kidney infections. These painful conditions can be avoided by drinking plenty of water instead of constantly chugging soda.

3) Cocktails mean calories.

Cocktail mixers are literally loaded with calories, sugar, coloring, and additives. Again, reading the label will help to understand what the drink really contains. However, super-sweet pre-made cocktail mixes are a calorie land mine because not only do the mixers themselves have calories, the added alcohol does too.

Instead of relying on store-bought juices, drinks, and mixers:

-Make your own fruit juice. There are affordable, effective juicers on the market and squeezing fresh fruit at home allows you complete control over the ingredients and flavors. This also eliminates the waste of throwing away empty juice jugs every time you buy.

-Consider making homemade cocktails. Not only will you save money on your bar tab; you’ll also be able to mix your choice of spirits with a variety of fresh-squeezed juices. An old-fashioned bar necessity, seltzer water can add zero-calorie zest to cocktails.

-Jazz up boring old water. Add lemon, orange, cucumber or pineapple slices to a large pitcher of water and you’ll have a flavorful and refreshing beverage. The fruits flavoring the water also add color, making for a pretty drink presentation. This option is also tasty using seltzer or sparkling water.