Drink Smarter: Beverages 101

That one soda you drink everyday and that extra latte each afternoon adds up. Sugary beverages are one of the biggest reasons people have trouble losing weight, keeping the weight off or simply living a healthier lifestyle. Each sugary beverage you have throughout your day adds hundreds of calories and loads of extra sugar. Decreasing your intake of sugary beverages will make you feel so much better. Let’s talk about how you can do that.

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What is a sugary beverage? A sugary beverage includes sugar sweetened beverages and beverages that are naturally sugary such as juice. Soda, sweet teas, lemonade, sports drinks, juices, lattes and other sweet coffees, etc.

How much sugar is recommended? To put it in perspective, one serving of soda has almost 40 grams of sugar while the recommended sugar intake per day is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. A regular pumpkin spice latte has 50 grams of sugar. That’s twice the amount recommended for women per day. One gram of sugar is equivalent to 4 calories. That means that pumpkin spice latte has 200 calories just from sugar! Don’t waste your calories on sugar sweetened beverages!

How do you cut back on sugary beverages? There are many ways to cut back on your favorite sugary beverages. If you crave that bubbly carbonation from soda try sparkling water instead such as La Criox or Dasani (there are multiple other brands as well). If you crave the sugary flavors from teas and lemonades try Crystal Light or Mio which are sugar free flavor enhancers made with artificial sweeteners. If you crave a specialty coffee each morning try choosing healthier ingredients such as skim or almond milk and use less syrup or use an artificial sweetener instead. Always skip the whipped cream. Make it your goal to replace one sugary beverage with a glass of water each day.

Flavor your water: Try different natural combinations to add flavor to your water. Strawberries and basil, oranges and rosemary, pineapple and mint and blueberries and sage are all great combos. Some other flavors to play with include other fruits, other herbs and spices and cucumbers!

P.S. Some options that won’t overload you with sugar include water (duh), green tea and other teas, black coffee, kombucha and  low sugar smoothies and juices.

Find out how much water you need per day here.

Raquel

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