The flavors of summertime are abundant and, at times, decadent, so it is essential to be mindful of your consumption. This is especially true when choosing your beverages, as many are packed with much more sugar than you may realize. Whatever your summer fitness goals—increasing stamina, maintaining or losing weight, building muscle, etc.—you’ll need to know just what’s actually inside your glass. The following tips can help you sip smarter all season long!
- Water is your best friend. It’s crucial for everyone’s health to hydrate properly every day. The best way to do this is to drink at least eight cups of water per day and work on making it a firm habit. Once you do, you may find that you crave other beverages less often and feel fuller from your meals. Carry a refillable water bottle with you for easy sipping.
- Pursue flavor creatively. Some people struggle with drinking lots of water because they miss flavor, but there are ways to strike a healthy balance. You can add a splash of 100% fruit juice or toss in some citrus wedges, fruit slices or berries, or even cucumbers.
- Watch out for added sugar. Many beverages you can buy are loaded with sugars, even if the logo and messaging seem to promote health. The only way to be sure about what you’re drinking is to read the nutrition label. You may be surprised at what you find. For example, a 16-ounce bottle of Snapple Peach Tea contains 40 grams of added sugar, which accounts for 79% of the recommended daily value. Yikes!
- Sub soda for seltzer. Many of us are mildly addicted to the soothing sensation of carbonation, which is why soda drinks are so popular. Unfortunately, traditional pop varieties contain tons of sugar, and their diet counterparts introduce less-than-appealing chemical alternatives such as aspartame. Fortunately, carbonated seltzers and sparkling waters have surged in popularity in recent years and can be found nearly everywhere. There is a flavor for any taste, so try something new next time you buy groceries!
- Make it at home. It’s always easier to make healthier choices from the comfort of your own kitchen than taking your chances in a store or drive-through. If you’re making coffee, tea, lemonade, or punch at home, you can be confident in what you’ve added without fear of ending up with an unintelligible concoction of preservatives and chemicals. Plus, you can’t extract additives from pre-made beverages, but at home, you can start without sugar and add a little bit if needed after tasting.