While we all enjoy a cold, refreshing beverage from time to time, but drinking soda is essentially drinking liquid sugar. Soda can contribute to weight gain and slow metabolism. Sugar and caffeine dehydrate you and create energy rushes followed by crashes, which are ultimately energy-depleting. This may seem obvious but the same goes for “zero calorie” and diet sodas. Basically, it’s all super unhealthy and won’t do anything for you except for secretly pack on the pounds and hold you down. Substitute the sugary soda with clean alternatives like the following:
Flavored water: store bought brands are popping up everywhere but to ensure what you are getting is free of artificial sweeteners or chemicals make your own at home. Throw in slices of your favorite fruits and veggies- lemons, oranges, watermelon, cucumber, mint or berries- to a pitcher of ice-cold water for a refreshing and flavorful drink. Bonus, you get an infused water full of healthy perks and it looks quite pretty.
Another great option is to put chopped-up fruit in an ice cube tray, add water and freeze. Place these colorful cubes in your beverage for instant flavor, color and chill during these upcoming hot summer months
Green tea: Hot or iced, this is a beverage that is calorie-free and naturally high in antioxidants. It provides a smaller dose of caffeine to wake you up without making you wired an jittery. If you want a little sweetening, add a few drops of honey or a lemon wedge for a guilt free pick me up.
Refreshing fruit smoothie: even if you are not a whiz in the kitchen you can whip up a delicious and frosty smoothie in 5 minutes with 3 ingredients or less. Take 1 cup of liquid (water, coconut water, cold pressed juice or non-dairy milk), 1 banana and 1 handful of frozen fruit of your choice (mango, strawberry, peach) and mix in a blender for 30 seconds. The combinations are endless and you get a fruity, tropical treat that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Kombucha: If you are craving something bubbly, give Kombucha a try. It is a fermented tea that is loaded with B vitamins, enzymes and probiotics. Kombucha improves gut health and digestion, aids in weight loss, increases energy, supports detoxification and cleansing, boosts the immune system, reduces joint pain and can even prevent cancer.
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