This summer when you’re working from home, the heat can induce you to chill out with a glass of cold drink every now and then. But are sugary cold drinks good for your health? Sugar laden cold drinks and sodas have no nutritional value. They contain empty sugar and hence, there is no nutritional benefit to having them. They only contribute to weight gain and in worst cases lead to obesity. Did you know that just one can of cola contains over 9-10 teaspoons of sugar. That is much above the quantity of sugar an adult should be having in an entire day.
So, what are some better choices?
There are many other refreshing cold drinks and beverages, with nutritional value that are easy to make at home and store in an insulated water bottle and can replace store bought cold drinks. Replacing aerated drinks with low-sugar fresh fruit juices or iced tea and coffee drinks is much better for your health. These drinks can reduce your sugar intake while adding beneficial antioxidants to your diet. Low-fat milk is also a good option, providing vitamins and nutrients. There are plenty of other drinks as listed below.
Best Choice of Cold Drinks This Summer
1. Flavor Infused Water
Flavored waters are easily available in the market these days, but many contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. A healthier alternative is natural flavoring or natural sweetener like adding slices of freshly cut fruits, veggies, and fragrant herbs. You can try lemons, apples, watermelon, Oranges etc. If you want cooler elements then go for cucumber, mint, or limes. Add them to a pitcher of ice-cold water for a refreshing and flavorful drink. You can add chopped thyme or other herbs. You can simply add water into a tray, add the fruits and freeze them together. Store it in an insulated tumbler to keep them cool and sip at any time. Fruits and Vegetables are best for adding instant color and flavor to your water!
2. Iced Green Tea
Green Tea may help you reduce the risk of several types of cancer, heart disease, obesity, kidney and liver disease, type 2 diabetes etc. It also helps you keep your figure lean and healthy. It is worth noting that green tea is calorie-free and high in antioxidants. Green tea is available in many varieties and brands. They are easily available in the market and are super easy to make. Drink it iced on a hot summer afternoon or after a tiring working day at night. Also, if you want a little flavouring just a few drops of honey or herb. Serve in an insulated tumbler.
3. Lemon or Lime Soda
This is undoubtedly the easiest to make summer drink. You can indulge in an occasional lemon treat with a healthy version of soda made with freshly cut lemon or lime and a small amount of sugar additives. Start with a glass of chilled water and add a few slices of lemon, lime or a mixture of both. Add a dash of sugar. Try to keep the soda calorie-free and low in carbohydrates. Use the sugar or sweetener sparingly. Store the remaining soda in an insulated tumbler to keep the temperature of the drink at the desired level
4. Kale Juice
In recent years vegetable juicing has gained quite a lot of popularity among health freaks who are looking for a quick and convenient way to boost their nutrition level. Kale is a rather versatile leafy green vegetable with a not-so-subtle flavor that jells well with the flavors of other fruits and veggies in juices. Kale is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A,C, and K.Pour this healthy juice in an insulated tumbler and enjoy.
5. Cucumber Juice
Cucumbers have a very high water content making them an excellent source of hydration in the hot summer. Cucumbers are also easy to slice and juice. You can pair the chilled cucumber with herbs and a slice of freshly cut lemon on top. There you go! Your summer drink is ready to be put in the insulated tumbler to keep it cool throughout the day.
6. Soy Milk
Soy milk is one of the healthiest drinks in town. It contains loads of soluble fiber and soy protein which lowers your cholesterol levels and triglycerides thus reducing the risk of heart diseases. You can easily replace your usual cow’s milk with soy milk. It’s a good source of calcium and vitamins A and D. But beware! Too much Soy milk may not be good for you, check with your physician before you make this choice.
7. Fresh Tomato Juice
Why do you need red wine when you can have a glass of fresh chilled tomato juice. Tomatoes have low sodium levels and are an excellent source of antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the risk of lung and stomach cancer, pancreatic, oral, breast and cervical cancers. They are also good for your lungs and the heart helping in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Tomato juice can be stored chilled in an insulated tumbler or can be consumed at room temperature.
8. Fruit Smoothies
Talk about perfect summer drinks! If you mix fruit with vegetables or greens, healthy fats, add some ice cubes to the mixture, a natural sweetener and lay off the sugar then it can make for a super nutritious summer cold drink. Try, apples, mangoes, cucumbers, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, berries etc. Store in a stainless steel water bottle and sip while you work.
9. Chilled Coffee
Good news for coffee drinkers! Unsweetened coffee, either black or with a small amount of nonfat or low-fat milk, would be the healthiest option.
Kombucha is a type of fermented tea perfect for tea lovers. It offers many potential health benefits, thanks in part to the fermentation process, which produces good bacteria.
There’s no doubt that a glass of cool water is the smartest cold drink out there, but if you’re craving for something more, some flavor then the above healthy cold drinks will give you a boost of nutrition in the hot summers while you’re busy working from home.