Stay refreshed this summer with these quick and easy low-calorie drinks!
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5 Low-Calorie Drinks to Quench Your Thirst
1. Infused Water
At summertime, your body tends to use more of its water to keep cool so it’s really important to stay hydrated!
When you’re playing the hydration game, you really can’t go wrong with a cold glass of water. Water doesn’t contain any fat, protein, or carbohydrate.
So, technically, it isn’t even a low-calorie drink—it’s actually a NO calorie drink!
Let’s be honest though, sometimes, plain old water isn’t exciting enough for our tastebuds. A great way to add some flavor to water without adding unnecessary sugars is infusing it with your favorite herb or fruit!
Here are some popular choices for infused water:
- fresh berries
After adding your favorite fruits or herbs in your water, let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. This gives the water the time it needs to absorb all of that wonderful flavor and even some of the ingredients’ health benefits!
Tip: You don’t have to limit each pitcher of water to one fruit or one vegetable. Adding multiple ingredients gives your infused water more layers of flavor.
2. Coconut Water
Coconut water is the clear liquid from the center of the coconut. It’s a great substitute for sugary and highly processed sports drinks.
In its purest form, coconut water is:
- Low in sodium
- Rich in potassium
- Full of electrolytes
On top of all of that, one cup of coconut water only amounts about 45 calories! As low-calorie beverages go, coconut water is a great option!
It has a sweet and nutty flavor that makes it easy to enjoy it on its own. You can also add it as a water substitute in smoothies.
Tip: If you’re really counting calories, avoid sweetened or flavored coconut juices and opt for the plain variety. Flavored coconut juices are usually no better than regular sugary beverages.
3. Fresh Fruit Juices
Bottled fruit juices are convenient and widely available. While they do offer some of the benefits of their natural sources, they’re often loaded with a lot of sugar.
The vitamins and minerals that you may gain from these juices hardly make up for the large sugar intake. In fact, most bottled fruit juices and sodas almost have the same amount of sugar.
The healthier alternatives are fresh fruit juices. They offer loads of vitamins and minerals, keep you hydrated, and their natural sugars provide a great energy boost.
Here are some popular fruit juice options and their health benefits:
- Orange – Rich in vitamin C, folate, potassium, and magnesium. One cup of pure orange juice has approximately 110 calories.
- Apple – A great source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K. One cup of pure apple juice has about 113 calories.
- Cranberry – Rich in antioxidants and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. One cup of pure cranberry juice has about 117 calories.
- Grape – Rich in two types of antioxidants: resveratrol and flavonoids. One cup of pure grape juice has about 152 calories.
Fresh fruit juices are widely available in different juice bars, but it’s fairly easy to make it at home! All you need is a juicer and a couple of your favorite fruits!
Tip: If the fresh fruit juice isn’t sweet enough for you, avoid processed sugars and try to opt for low-calorie natural sweeteners. Examples are stevia, raw honey, coconut sugar, and yacon syrup.
4. Low-Calorie Smoothies
The regular size of most commercially available smoothies contains about 400 calories. While many commercially available smoothies use fresh fruits, they also use ice creams, sorbets, or full-fat milk to pack in more flavor.
By adjusting a few base ingredients, you can actually cut that calorie count by half! Here are a few changes you can make to your favorite smoothie recipe:
- Use low-fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt as a thickening agent or as a substitute for thick dairy ingredients.
- Substitute regular milk with unsweetened almond milk, low-fat milk, non-fat buttermilk, or light coconut milk.
- Substitute processed sugars with raw honey.
Here are some examples of low-calorie smoothies:
Oats, Berry, and Cream Smoothie (137 calories/cup)
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- 1/2 cup frozen bananas
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 teaspoon flaxseed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
Watermelon and Mint Smoothie (98 calories)
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups of chopped watermelon (without seeds)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh mint
Strawberry and Basil Smoothie (117 calories)
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Tip: Use frozen fruits to minimize the thinning of your smoothie.
5. Fresh Fruit Spritzers
What is a spritzer? It’s a chilled, bubbly drink made from a plain carbonated drink. A spritzer’s flavor comes from fruits, herbs, or another beverage (such as wine).
Everyone enjoys a nice bubbly drink every now and then. A great alternative to sugary soda is a homemade fruit spritzer!
The number of calories in your spritzer will depend on the type of carbonated drink you use. Tonic water, sparkling mineral water, seltzer, and club soda are commonly used.
But note that one regular can of tonic water has about 124 calories. So you may want to stay away from it.
To make a fruit spritzer, you need to make your fruit puree first:
- Combine your choice of fruits, herbs, and natural sweetener in a saucepan. Adjust the proportions of the fruit, herbs, and sweetener according to your taste.
- Slowly heat it over medium to low heat until the fruit turns into a puree and the herbs release their natural oils. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Cool the puree down and transfer it into a blender. Blend until smooth.
To make the spritzer, slowly stir in 1-2 tablespoons of the puree into the chilled club soda, seltzer, or sparkling mineral water. Don’t forget to top it off with a lot of ice!
Tip: If you don’t have time to make the puree, you can simply juice your chosen fruit and add that to your sparkling water.
For more low-calorie drinks to keep you hydrated this summer, check out this video from Jaclyn Wood:
Choosing a healthier option doesn’t always mean you have to sacrifice taste. With these five low-calorie drinks, it’ll be easy to stay hydrated throughout the summer!
Aside from keeping hydrated, it’s also important for adults to get their daily dose of vitamins. The Body Protective Complex/Vitamin D3 bundle are great supplements that promote overall health.
What’s your favorite low-calorie drink? Share it with us know in the comments section.
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