Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Light Summer Beverages


It has been a long time since I have experienced a “real” summer. In Seattle it was rarely hot, and I truly forgot what it was like to live in the heat.  Here in our new California home, I have already made a few missteps.  The worst of which being when I turned on the oven to 425 degrees when it was 85 degrees outside. Yikes.

One of the other things I had forgotten about summer is the constant need to hydrate.  I have been craving cool beverages more than anything else these days.  I carry a water bottle with me everywhere, but unfortunately water doesn’t always satisfy me.  There is something about summer that screams lemonade, milkshakes, iced coffee and slushies.  When I was less health conscious, my summers were filled with the above options, and I was unknowingly consuming large amounts of calories (and sugar!).

I never used to think about drinking calories, I always just thought calories came from eating.  In reality, people consume many of their daily calories from beverages, and I was no exception.  We have all heard the media blitzes about how bad soda is for our health, this is certainly the case, but there are also many other unhealthy beverages that are getting less attention (some are even marketed to look like healthy drinks).  

I’ve included some figures for you on drinks to avoid, and also provided some ideas for healthy replacements.  Bottoms up!

Sugary Summer Beverages:
(For your reference, 1 tsp of sugar is equal to 4 grams)

16 oz Snapple Lemonade 190 calories 46 grams of sugar
16 oz Lipton Green Tea with Citrus 140 calories 36 grams of sugar
16 oz 7-11 Vanilla Iced Coffee 280 calories 50 grams of sugar
16 oz (grande) Mocha Frappuccino 400 calories 60 grams of sugar
20 oz Defense Vitamin Water 120 calories 32 grams of sugar
Medium DQ Chocolate Malt 790 calories 111 grams of sugar
Medium DQ Lemonade Chiller 380 calories 84 grams of sugar
Original Pineapple Jamba Juice 410 calories 91 grams of sugar
20 oz Sonic Caramel Java Chiller 910 calories 99 grams of sugar
20 oz Sonic Cherry Slush 290 calories 77 grams of sugar
Large A&W Root Beer 440 calories 116 grams of sugar

calorie information obtained directly from product websites


Light & Refreshing Summer Beverages:

Homemade flavor-Infused water (try: cucumber, berry, citrus)
Sun tea (try: green, peppermint, licorice)
Unsweetened Aqua Fresca (try: mango, watermelon, cantaloupe)
Sparkling water with lemon
Kombucha

Sometimes we just can’t fight our cravings.  If you end up in line at Starbucks, just remember to ask for your drink unsweetened (the default is sweetened), and without additions like whip cream.  Also of note for you DQ lovers, a cone is always lower in calories than a milkshake, and milkshakes are slightly lower than malts.  Of course, a nice cold glass of cucumber water is calorie free, and super refreshing...try it...even my husband has been enjoying it this summer :).

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