By now you've probably gotten the message that sugar is bad for you. But cutting it out of your diet is easier said than done, especially when it shows up in sneaky places like Sriracha, yogurt, salad dressings, and basically every drink ever.
While water is always an excellent choice, it can also be a boring one. Here are six low-sugar swaps you can make when you're craving something jazzier than plain H20.
1. If you’re craving hot chocolate, make a chai tea latte.
Hot chocolate is typically made with sugar-laden syrups, whole milk, and sweetened whipped cream, clocking in at 400 calories and over 40 grams of sugar. Whip up a chai tea latte instead and you'll get a hit of natural sweetness from the tea and some satiating protein from the milk. If you choose nonfat milk, you’re looking at just 130 calories, 13 grams of protein, and no added sugar. Not making it yourself? Be sure to ask the barista what type of mix they use; mixes can be just as high in sugar.
2. If you’re craving soda, choose Hint Water.
In partnership with hint
A typical 12-ounce can of soda packs 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar. And even if you go the diet route, it’s still loaded with artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives. For a bit of sweetness without all the crap, try hint water. Flavored with natural fruit oils and essences, it's basically just water (so no sugar or artificial sweeteners) but way tastier (think flavors such as blackberry, watermelon, and crisp apple).
If that doesn't sell ya on it, just check out hint's more than 27,000 reviews. Bonus: If you're trying hint for the first time, pick up a variety pack for just $15 with free shipping using code VARIETY15.
3. If you’re craving an energy drink, reach for an Americano.
A typical 12-ounce energy drink delivers over 160 calories and 37 grams of sugar along with an aggressive caffeine hit. (Hey, we’re all sleep deprived, but no one needs that kind of buzz.) Get your morning jolt through an Americano instead. Served black, it has virtually zero calories or sugar. Need a little something to balance the bitterness? Try adding a splash of unsweetened milk or a dairy-free alternative and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
4. If you’re craving iced tea, go unsweetened.
Tea may seem like a universally healthy choice, but the second ingredient after water in most commercial iced tea brands is—you guessed it—sugar. A typical 500-milliliter bottle has 43 grams of the white stuff and 160 calories. (Trust us, there are healthier ways to get your antioxidant fix.) Swap the bottled version for home-brewed unsweetened iced tea. Before long, you won't even crave the sickly sweet kind.
5. If you’re craving a frozen margarita, opt for tequila on the rocks with lime.
One of these blended tropical drinks can clock in at 500 calories and 70 grams of sugar. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be the DD. A shot of tequila on the rocks with a healthy splash of lime has about 65 calories and no added sugar. Need a little something to temper the burn? Add some unsweetened coconut water for natural sweetness.
6. If you’re craving a chocolate milkshake, whip up a yogurt-fruit smoothie.
A typical milkshake contains over 700 calories and 60 grams of sugar—it’s literally dessert in a glass. For the same creamy, icy consistency with natural sweetness, try blending plain Greek yogurt with frozen berries and a little natural nut butter. Bonus: The protein from the yogurt and the fats from the nuts will help keep you full.