The little guy is drinking a lot of juices recently and since I am concerned about his teeth I have been looking at delicious sugary drink alternatives!
This is just as important for adults too for both maintaining a healthy weight and dental/overall health. You know the kinds of drinks I am talking about: fizzy, soda, artificial fruit juices that contain a lot of added sugar or even alcohol!
I know I sounds like one of the mean people trying to take away all the fun stuff but I am a firm believer in being able to find healthier alternatives that are also delicious so that you won’t miss them or think twice about cutting them out of your diet. Plus it sets a good example for the kids!
Side Effects of too much “Added Sugar”
- Rots your teeth (lets not even mention dental costs)
- Contributes to weight loss
- Addictive – making you consume more sugar (and so the cycle continues)
- Leaves you feeling more hungry
- Increases Heart disease risk
Putting It Into Perspective…
4g of added sugar on the label = 1 Teaspoon of sugar (if you were putting it in yourself.)
So the 330ml Coca-cola that you get to sit at your desk in the afternoon = 35g added sugar which is the rough equivalent of 8 and a half teaspoons of sugar.
“Fine, I’ll buy the diet one instead, less sugar in that” and you would be right, however, to make it taste sweet and leave you wanting more they add other chemicals in which have been linked to an assortment of diseases (nothing 100% proven but why risk it?).
Plus there are a load of healthy alternatives that are good for you too so why not trade in your sugary drinks for 1 week and try out some of these bad boys!
Fruit Infused Water
Add fruit slices to cold water and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours – once it is done you will have healthy homemade fruit infused water. You can also add fruit to your water bottles and take it on the go with you (or even on your runs)
*Plus you can eat the fruit after too = BONUS*
Fruit/ Herbal Tea
There are so many options here for different blends and infusions, each with their own benefits. Generally herbal teas are healthy, full of antioxidants and great for flushing your system when you need a detox of all the sugar *Hint, Hint*. Some of the flavors you can go for are: cranberry, orange, lime, liquorice, ginger, rhubarb, blueberry. (There are literally hundreds).
Be sure to check the labels though to ensure you aren’t buying low quality with added sugar!
If you feel the need to be fizzy then seltzer is the way to go, it’s basically just carbonated water with minimal additives). Add to fruit juices or alcohol instead of lemonade and soda water.
The good old fashioned kind, there’s plenty of it! Tap water or bottled mineral water is the best sugary drink alternatives, we are made up of 75% of it after all. If that’s not enough of a reason, check out my post Why You REALLY Should Be Drinking Water.
This is a great alternative to sports drinks – full of electrolytes for recovery and very refreshing too! (don’t drink it in excess though because coconut in large quantities act as a laxative)
*We have the coconuts now all we need is the beach.*
A great alternative to fizzy drinks or alcohol when you’re out on the town, switch the coke or lemonade for a mocktail! Be wary that even natural fruit juices can contain a lot of sugar so choose wisely from the menu! These can be fun to experiment with the kids or at parties, to come up with cool names but instead of using bought juices, try adding some blended fruit instead.
*Top Tip: Dilute them using icy water to thin them out if the blend becomes too sweet or thick*
Try not to go overboard on this because it can be quite fattening, but milk is a great substitute because of it’s obvious source of calcium (you might as well drink something nutritional instead) – if you aren’t a fan of plain milk (like me) then try low-fat milkshakes (below).
Ditch the ice cream and for sugary drink alternatives blend semi-skimmed milk, ice and a banana for a creamy healthy low-fat banana milkshake option!
*You can experiment with different fruit and combinations e.g. strawberries/blueberries – far more exciting than the rubbish sugary alternatives*
Similar to Mocktails but made by blending real fruit to keep them thick! Reduce the natural sugar content by adding water as a base rather than fruit juice.
We love smoothies are they are one of our favourite sugary drink alternatives so why not check out some of the previous recipes I posted such as:
In the same realm as smoothies except, instead blended vegetables (or you can buy store bought vegetable juice instead if you don’t have a blender.)
Did I miss anything off? Leave a comment in the section below and let me know your favorite healthy sugary drink alternatives 🙂
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*A version of this post also appears on my author contributions for ShopperLottie.com*