Happy Summer! As the days become warmer, we look for ways to quench our thirst in the heat, but for those of us who want to live a healthier life, healthy options often get drowned out by sugary drinks that can offset your hard work. Commercials bombard the media with images of friends and families enjoying their summer with an ice cold soda, and almost every restaurant, theme park, and shopping mall offers soda as a refreshment option. Alongside every healthy dish is a healthy drink, so let’s take a stand for our health and say “NO” to soda all summer long! Are you up for the challenge?
Why is cutting out soda so important? Check out these facts from the Soda Free Summer website:
- The average person consumes 100 pounds of sugar a year- that’s more than a quarter pound of sugar a day!
- Drinking just one 20-once bottle of soda each day for a year can result in gaining 25 extra pounds.
- To burn off the 250 calories in one 20-ounce bottle of non-diet soda, a 135 lb. person would have to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes.
- Soda is the #1 source of added sugar in the American diet.
So what can you do to be soda-free this summer? Try out these 5 tips:
- Drink more water. We typically need about 8 glasses of water a day, so don’t waste any time drinking soda. Carry around an insulated water bottle and you’ll always have water within your reach. Fill up the water bottle with ice and water, and make sure to carry it around with you where ever you go. When going to a restaurant, ask for a glass of ice water instead of soda. Not only will it help your health, but it’s a lot cheaper because it’s FREE! In the case of where you have to purchase overpriced water at theme parks or movie theaters, remember that your health is priceless! If the cost of water is almost the same as soda….just go for the water!
- Make your water fancy. If water is too boring for you, adding cut fruits and herbs to your water will give you a light flavor that you’ll love. Cut fruits like cucumbers and limes and herbs like mint or lavender and add to your pitcher or water bottle. Let the flavors infuse and soak into the water and you’ll have some refreshing water with a kick. Experiment with the different fruits featured at the farmer’s market or at your grocery store this summer to see which is your family’s favorite. Not only will your water taste good, it will also look really fancy! This is a great idea for BBQ’s or summer parties.
- Choose 100% juice. Either make your own or read the nutrition facts label to make sure it’s 100% juice and not a cocktail blend with loads of added sugar. Juice will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you some good vitamins. If you’re missing the bubbly feeling of soda, add some sparkling mineral water and all you’ll be missing is the aluminum can! Remember, juice does contain natural sugars from fruits, so try to limit yourself each day.
- Make a smoothie. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve got so many smoothies options for you to choose from. If you freeze your fruits ahead of time, it will make your smoothies nice and frothy for a hot summer day. Check out all of the smoothie and beverage recipes on My Healthy Dish.
- Cool down with iced tea. Not only is it refreshing, depending on the type of tea you brew, the different teas can help your body as well. To sweeten the iced tea, try adding honey or crushed fruit, like this simple Green Tea with Watermelon recipe.
Ready to kick the can this summer? Take the pledge at the Soda Free Summer website and get tools and resources to help you stay clear of soda. If you’re already living soda-free, take this time to motivate your loved ones to challenge themselves to stop drinking soda this summer.