The long hot summer days often mean spending time enjoying the outdoors. This also means we need to keep cool and hydrated. Unfortunately the majority of ‘refreshing’ drinks on the market are not very good for us as they tend to be packed full of kilojoules and sugar. Sugary drinks can also make you thirstier and are bad for the teeth.
Do you know how much sugar are in these drinks?
Soft drink: the average 600mL soft drink has 16 teaspoons of sugar. Would you eat 16 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting?
Energy drinks: the average 600mL energy drink has 13 teaspoons of sugar plus has caffeine the equivalent of 1 ½ shots of espresso.
Sports drink: Don’t believe the heavy marketing as a ‘healthy’ drink that sports people consume to keep hydrated, the average 600mL serve has around 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Iced tea: As refreshing as iced tea can be on a hot day, commercial drinks can contain 6 teaspoons of sugar per 500mL serve. Best to make your own, and it’s easier on the wallet!
Flavoured water: Don’t be fooled by ‘flavoured water’, some varieties still contain 5 teaspoons of sugar per 500 mL serve.
Tap water: 0 sugar and best of all it’s free!
What about fruit juice?
While fruit juice is made from fruit, the juicing process means that most of the fibre is lost. It’s better to eat your fruit whole as it is more satisfying and contains more nutrients and fibre.
If you choose to have fruit juice, have only a small serve (1/2 cup), occasionally and consider diluting with ice or water. Also, juice is not the best option for kids, try to avoid including juice poppers in the lunch box, save them for a treat instead.
Crazy for Kombucha?
Whilst drinking kombucha is all the fashion these days, did you know that not all kombucha is created equal? The amount of sugar ranges from less than 0.1 g to more than 3 teaspoons of sugar per serve in some brands. It’s also difficult to distinguish the amount of ‘live culture’ that is contained within the kombucha (if it has floaty bits then it has been made with scoby and is likely to contain the culture). When choosing a kombucha, make sure you check out the label to see if it is truly low in sugar.
So, rather than reaching out for a sugary drink try these ideas at home:
Water flavoured with slices of lemon, cucumber, strawberries or mint. You could even add some berries or cucumber slices to a bottle of water and freeze.
Frappes made with ice and blended frozen fruit make for a nice treat and are also packed with fibre.
Milk blended with frozen fruit such as our berrylicious smoothie is a refreshing choice and is packed full of protein, calcium and vitamins.
Make a pot of herbal tea (with no added sugar) in the morning and once cooled, keep in the fridge ready to drink.
Remember fruit and vegies are full of fluid, so be sure to crunch on some pieces on hot days. Try oranges, watermelon, rockmelon or cucumber sticks.