Two girls having a cold drink at a restaurant

Healthier alternatives to sip this summer.

It’s finally summer, the season of barbeques, vacations and trying to keep cool. The warm weather brings great food and refreshing drinks, but also some health risks. For example, do you really know what is in the summer beverages you and your kids may be drinking?

What's wrong with your favourite summer drinks?

Many of your favourite summer drinks are high in sugar, and we tend to drink more in the summer to cool off, increasing our sugar consumption too. Having large amounts of sugar in our diets is a problem for both adults and children. Diets high in sugar, from both food and drinks, have long been associated with issues such as tooth decay, obesity and diabetes.

Although the occasional cold, sweet drink on a hot day is okay, it’s important to remember that your main source of hydration should be low in sugar – ideally plain water – to ensure you maintain your optimal health this summer.

How much sugar is in your summer drinks?

You might be surprised how much sugar – and how many empty calories – are hiding in that tall, frosty glass. Here are the facts, and some healthier alternatives to sip instead this summer.

Cola: A single can of cola (355mL) contains 39 grams of sugar – about 10 sugar cubes worth.

Healthier choice: Carbonated or regular water with fresh sliced berries or citrus fruit in it. You’ll get a refreshing fruity flavor with a fraction of the sugar.

Iced Tea: A single can (355 mL) of iced tea has 31 grams of sugar – about 8 sugar cubes worth.

Healthier choice: Brew your own tea – try a herbal or berry blend – then chill it in the fridge. You can add lemon, and a small amount of honey for sweetness and serve cold over ice for a perfect poolside pour.

Lemonade: A single can (355 mL) of lemonade has 40 grams of sugar – 10 sugar cubes worth.

Healthier choice: Try drinking carbonated or regular water with just a wedge of fresh lemon. It is as simple as squeezing some juice from a lemon into your water to his results in a drink with a lovely lemon flavor, but without all of the sugar.

Milkshakes: A small vanilla milkshake from McDonald’s has an astonishing 66 grams of sugar – about 17 sugar cubes worth.

Healthier choice: Try making your own smoothies with frozen fruits such as berries and bananas. Add flavored or unsweetened yogurt or milk to make a creamy, customized drink higher in fibre and lower in sugar.

Juice Boxes: A single apple juice box (200mL) has 24 grams of sugar – six sugar cubes worth.

Healthier choice: Serve half the amount of juice and cut it with ice or carbonated or plain water to cut the amount of sugar to 12 grams per serving.

What's the best way to stay hydrated in summer?

The best way to stay well hydrated during hot weather is to skip sugary beverages all together and drink plenty of water. It’s always be the best option!

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