Healthy drinks: 4 low-calorie thirst-quenchers
We all know that we have to watch our food to lose or gain weight. But it’s not just the calories on your plate that affect your weight and build! What you drink can also make a significant difference. Healthy drinking is therefore just as important as healthy eating. But what are healthy low-calorie drinks? We list 4 options in this blog.
Let’s start at the beginning: why is it important to choose healthy drinks at all? There are two reasons for this: calories and sugars.
Calories in drink
The amount of calories in drink is higher than you might think. A quick list:
- Ice tea: 60 kcal per 250 ml
- Apple juice or orange juice: 118 kcal per 250 ml
- Cola: 126 kcal per 250 ml
- White wine: approx. 150 kcal per glass
- Beer: approx. 250 kcal per bottle
You probably already see what the problem is. Suppose you drink a glass of orange juice for breakfast, a bottle of cola with lunch and have a glass of wine with dinner. Then you have already received around 300 kcal. Even more annoying: it concerns 300 kcal that do not saturate at all!
For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, 300 kcal can be enough to wipe out all of your progress. Enough reason to be careful, so. Healthy drinks you should be drinking
Sugars in drinks
There is also a second problem. Most of the calories in drinks come from sugars. That means that a glass of icetea delivers about 15 grams of fast sugars to your body, and fruit juice no less than 30 grams. And that while the WHO recommends to eat no more than about 50 grams of sugars a day.
Drinking with sugar not only provides useless calories, they are also calories that cause a spike in your blood sugar. The result: you actually get more appetite for sweets. For example, unhealthy drinking can also cause you to eat more on balance.
The point is clear: it is better not to consume too many sugary calories through your drink. But if cola and icetea aren’t good choices, what are low-calorie drinks?
5 healthy drinks
Number 1 on the healthy list is of course “normal” water. It contains no calories or unhealthy substances, is extremely cheap and helps your body to function optimally. Simple, but also exactly what you need.
Do you not like water or just boring? Then you can flavor your water by adding fruit or herbs. This still contains practically no calories, but it does get a lot better. Tasty for your flavored water are, for example:
- Slices of orange or lemon
You can vary endlessly with different additions! This way, drinking water does not have to be boring.
Tea is of course also just water with a flavor, albeit warm. So again, no calories. Of course it is important that you do not add sugar.
Which tea you choose does not really matter. Green and black are rich in antioxidants, which reduce cell damage in your body. They may also reduce your cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Herbal tea also has advantages, which differ per herb. For example, chamomile tea helps you sleep better, peppermint tea improves digestion and raspberry leaf tea can reduce the symptoms of menstruation and menopause. Another advantage of herbal tea is that, unlike green and black tea, it does not contain caffeine. This is especially useful if you like to drink tea in the evening.
In fact, you can’t really go wrong with tea. So choose what you like!
Just like tea, coffee itself contains no calories. So you don’t have to do without caffeine on a diet! Many people do add calories themselves in the form of milk and sugar. If you really want to drink low-calorie, it is better not to.
Coffee is certainly not unhealthy, contrary to popular belief. For example, it contains the substance cafestol, which also lowers your cholesterol. Just like tea, it also contains a lot of antioxidants and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
You do have to be careful when you drink coffee. The effect of caffeine lasts longer than you consciously notice, and can disrupt your sleep considerably. It is therefore wise not to drink coffee (or black and green tea) after 4 pm.
And don’t forget to drink a glass of water with your coffee! Caffeine removes moisture from the body, and you want to replenish it as quickly as possible.
4. (Low-fat) dairy
Most people do not think of milk very quickly when drinking healthy. Yet that is indeed a great choice! Dairy does contain some calories, but with low-fat varieties, they almost exclusively come from proteins. The negative effects of sugars are therefore not applicable here. In addition, milk is full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 and calcium.
If you want to gain weight, you can also opt for the full variants instead of low-fat dairy. This gives you the same nutrients, but also a little more calories due to the extra fats. Keep in mind that these are saturated fats! If you already eat quite a few animal products in a day, this is not a sensible option.
Finally: can you not digest lactose, or do you prefer to eat vegetable? Then you can also opt for vegetable dairy substitutes. There are many varieties available today, all with their own distinctive flavor: soy milk, almond milk and oat milk, for example. Choose the unsweetened options, and make sure you choose a brand that has added calcium and B12!
And sugar-free soft drinks?
One last question: what about sugar-free light products? They also contain no calories and can therefore be a great healthy drink, right?
In theory that is correct, but we do not recommend that you use too much diet coke and similar products. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Diet sodas are high in acids. They affect your teeth (even without the sugars!) And can also irritate your stomach.
- The intense sweet taste of diet soft drinks can ensure that you keep more appetite for sweet. And those cookies and chocolate bars do contain calories, even if the soda doesn’t …
- Not everyone responds well to artificial sweeteners. Certainly in large quantities, some of these substances can cause irritations and stomach complaints.
An occasional light drink is of course fine! But if you are looking for something to drink with lunch every day, you better choose one of the options above.