There’s nothing like a cold drink to quench your thirst on a hot, sunny day, but some of these drinks can be loaded with sugar. Sugary drinks make up for almost half of the added sugars in Americans’ diets, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Fruit juice, even 100% fruit juice, may contain more than 30 grams of sugar in just one cup. Fortunately, you can keep your cool with these tips and low carb summer drink recipes.
Drink This, Not That
Here’s a quick guide to popular summer drinks that tend to be loaded with sugar, and some low carb summer drink swaps that will still quench your thirst, while being just as sweet.
Sweetened Ice Tea (30 grams/sugar): You can still enjoy this traditional summer beverage, just swap it for Iced Mint Tea (0 grams/sugar).
Flavored Coconut Water (30 grams/sugar): While coconut water is popular because it helps restore hydration and replenish electrolytes during exercise, stick with unflavored coconut water (0 grams/sugar), and be sure to read the label to make sure you’re getting 100% coconut water, without added sugar or flavoring agents. Coconut water is also a great low carb alternative to sports drinks, which may be high in sugar.
Sweetened Non-Dairy Milk (~13 grams/sugar): Non-dairy milks such as almond milk or soy milk are nice alternatives to traditional cow’s milk, but stick with the unsweetened versions. Or else, at 13 grams of sugar or more, you might as well be eating a donut for breakfast.
Frozen Coffee Drinks (70 grams/sugar or more!): You can blow two or more days worth of carb and sugar intake with just one frozen coffee drink or swap it for Coffee Frappe (~2 grams/sugar).
Lemonade (~25 grams/sugar): There’s nothing like an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, but stick with our refreshing low carb lemonade (1 gram/sugar).
Fruit Juice (~30 grams/sugar): Go for fiber-rich fruit like berries or Double Berry Ice Pops (~5 grams/sugar). It’s the perfect way to cool down.
Smoothies (~60 grams/sugar): Just a small smoothie will sabotage all your low-sugar goals, but we have plenty of fruity, delicious low carb smoothie recipes here.
And without a doubt, one of the best low sugar and low carb ways to hydrate on a hot day is water! Keep a water bottle filled and ready to sip from at all times. If your water needs a little flavor boost, add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange juice or try this low carb Lemon-Orange Cooler.