Did you know that most Americans consume 20 teaspoons of sugar a day? That is triple the recommended daily allowance for women and double for men! Most of that added sugar comes from sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, sports drinks and syrupy coffee drinks. For example, one 12 ounce can of regular soda contains 150 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar, while a Starbucks tall Pumpkin Spice Latte has 240 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar!
Thankfully, all is not lost. With some slight adjustments, you can enjoy your favorite beverages by making smarter choices.
Replace soda with seltzer.
Do you love the fizz of soda? Try an unsweetened seltzer instead; plain or flavored it’s a better choice than drinking sugar filled soda!
Carry a refillable water bottle so you always have your go-to beverage handy. Not a fan of plain water? Add fruit slices, vanilla extract, cucumber or mint to perk your water up. We like these ideas from BuzzFeed.com.
Swap out sweetened iced tea for unsweetened versions.
Make your own iced tea by following the directions on your favorite box of tea bags. If you crave additional flavor, add a little honey, some lemon and/or mint.
Make your own fruit drinks.
Most prepackaged fruit drinks contain lots of added sugar. For a fizzy DIY fruit punch, puree up some frozen berries and add seltzer water. We also love this Watermelon Mint Cooler from Abby Phon!
Try homemade lemonade.
Most lemonade mixes don’t even have real lemon in them! Make your own to control the ingredients and ensure you’re drinking a healthy beverage. My Whole Food Life has a deliciously refreshing Fruity Lemonade.
Blend a smoothie.
Smoothies are a delicious breakfast or after workout snack, but if you’re not careful, some can really pack a calorie and sugar punch. Make your own delicious and nutritious treat with one of these DIY recipes.
Add pumpkin to your coffee.
Can’t give up your Pumpkin Spice Latte? You could add pumpkin spice directly to your favorite plain ground coffee for a seasonal flavor or try this DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe from Chocolate and Carrots. Both are much lower in sugar!
Create your own hot chocolate.
Skip the packaged mixes and make your own! Instead of using sugar try honey, molasses or stevia to sweeten it up. Super Chocolatey Hot Cocoa by Peanut Butter and Peppers is sure to hit the spot!
By making your favorite drinks yourself, and making a few swaps, you can save yourself a lot of added calories and excess sugar. Need more incentive? Many who struggle to maintain a healthy weight could lose up to 15 pounds in a year just by switching out just one can of soda a day!
Do you have a tip for a healthy beverage swap? Share it with us at @EatSmartScales.