Many of us struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. With the abundance of easy and inexpensive fast food, consumers struggle to consume nutritious meals. A significant part of the problem stems from liquid calories—we tend to forget about these. Soda, alcohol, and energy drinks can also add many grams of unwanted sugar. Juices and milk are healthier, and offer essential nutrients, but even they add to our calorie count and may be overindulged in.
So, are there any tasty and regret-free ways to quench our thirsts? Definitely! Not every option will appeal to each of us, but if you search diligently, you're sure to find a calorie-free beverage you'll enjoy. Today, we'll examine six suggestions, starting with the simplest and most inexpensive..
Not much explanation needed here, huh? Water is water. It's cheap, refreshing, and free from any harmful substances (assuming it's been properly filtered).
- Inexpensive; free at most restaurants
- Helps us stay full
- Free from calories/sugar/sodium
- No vitamins
- To some, the lack of flavor can be off-putting
2. Sparkling/ Flavored Water
Even if you're not big on regular water, you may enjoy some flavored or sparkling water. Flavored waters can come in either bottles or mixes, like the popular Mio concentrate, which is squirted into normal water to provide flavor. Sparkling waters have added fizz, almost like a soda, and vary in sweetness. If you'd like a milder sparkling water, I'd recommend the Dasani varieties. If you're like me, and have more of a sweet tooth, try the Target or Wal-Mart brand flavors: they're inexpensive,, fizzy, and sweet.
- Available in many flavors
- Range from mild to sweet
- Many are delicious! Personal preference: Target's Fuji Apple flavor
- Usually inexpensive; 1-Liter bottles should cost less than a dollar
- Unless you buy Vitamin Water, lacking in nutrients
- If you do buy Vitamin Water, you'll pay a bit more
Natural tea is virtually calorie-free, containing a whopping 2 per serving. So feel free to indulge in black, green, and chai tea to your heart's content! However, be aware that sweet and bottled versions often have sugar/corn syrup inserted, adding calories to the drink. Thus, if you enjoy sweet teas, consider ordering them unsweetened and using zero-calorie substitutes for sugar (like Stevia powder) to acquire the desired taste.
- Variable taste
- Some nutritional value, depending on the tea
- Sometimes sweetened with sugar, adding calories
- May get a bit costly
Some coffee does have calories, but that's from added ingredients. A Starbucks Grande Latte, for example, comes with nearly 200; however, this is due to the presence of milk. Sugar, cream, and honey will also pile more on. To stay clear of them, you'll either have to drink coffee black, or use zero-calorie syrups to add flavor.
- Caffeine provides energy boost
- Unique taste
- Often have added ingredients and calories (admittedly, these taste pretty great)
- Takes effort to brew
5. Diet Sodas
Diet Sodas usually replace sugar with substitutes, resulting in a calorie-free and sweet beverage. However, researchers have not yet reached a consensus about the impact of diet soda on our health, making their place in a balanced diet uncertain. Still, harboring zero calories can't hurt.
- Sweet taste that many enjoy
- Fairly inexpensive
- Easy to buy in bulk
- Nutritionally lacking
- Some research suggests detrimental effects on health
6. Monster Energy Ultra
Other energy drinks (Red Bull, Full Throttle) offer calorie or sugar-free products, but Monster remains a personal favorite. Their Ultimate Energy and Absolutely Zero brands provide a flavorful energy boost for zero calories and sugar.
- Moderate energy boost
- Many enjoy the sweeter taste
- Surprisingly, comes with a variety of vitamins
- Variable flavors (flavors include the lemon-like Citron and orange soda-esque Sunrise)
- Price; any mainstream energy drink will burn through your wallet
- Should not be consumed in excess
Weight Loss Today
Losing weight isn't easy, but replacing liquid calories with healthier alternatives allows some leeway for moderately-sized meals. That said, no matter how healthy your beverages, they won't compensate for unhealthy food selections—try to find some nutritious meals you enjoy! And allow yourself some cheat days, we all deserve treats now and then. For now, let me know which of today's drinks you favor, and I'll see you at our next review!