There is nothing like a cool, refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day to leave you feeling relaxed and happy. Whether you need something to rejuvenate your body in the morning, something to sip on all day or something to serve at your next backyard party, this list has it all. Plus, none of these low-calorie options will leave you feeling guilty.
Homemade Iced Tea
Iced tea is super easy to make at home. If you want to take the easiest route, choose cold brew tea bags. However, if you want to be a little old-school, try a delicious iced vanilla oolong tea. Simply start with 12 ounces of strongly brewed oolong tea using three tea bags, and mix this with 1.5 quarts of water, 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract and one-quarter teaspoon of pure stevia extract powder. This drink recipe will boost your metabolism and help you burn calories without adding any calories of its own.
If you want to stay away from the caffeine found in many types of tea but still want something fruity and flavorful, try infused water, which is sometimes called spa water. Infused water is great if you want something that you can sip on all day. Be sure to start the night before so that the flavors have a chance to get into the water. Cucumber slices give a refreshing flavor, and strawberries pair well with them. Try putting your cut-up fruits and cucumbers into a one or two-quart pitcher or into an infuser water bottle. This combination should clock in at 10 calories per cup or less.
Coconut Water Smoothie
If you are looking for something a little more filling that could sub for a light snack in the morning or afternoon, a smoothie will fit the bill. Coconut water is naturally low-calorie, and it has no fat, making it a smart choice for the base of your smoothie. Blend it with some light coconut milk for creaminess, honey to taste for sweetness, one banana and a cup of frozen strawberries. This smoothie is also a great choice after a vigorous workout because coconut water provides your body with several key electrolytes.
Of course, cocktails cannot be left off your summer drinks list, but they do not have to be high in calories to be delicious. A mojito is an excellent option to serve on a warm summer’s night. After muddling your mint leaves, combine an ounce of rum with a squirt of lime juice and a teaspoon of low-calorie sweetener. Then top it off with seltzer water for a sparkling finish. This cocktail should be 75 calories or less depending on the sweetener you use.
You may think of sangria as a sugar-laden summer drink. However, you can still enjoy this fruity beverage if you combine it with zero-calorie club soda. Try an orange-flavored version for this summer with one cup of orange juice, a quarter cup of brandy, a quarter cup of orange liqueur and a tablespoon or two of sugar. Pour in your red wine, water it down with the club soda and enjoy a 100-calorie sangria with your friends.
Now that winter is past, you can forget those warm, comforting drinks and instead pull up a chair and enjoy a refreshing sip of something cool and healthy. By slashing the calories with each of these five drinks, you can support your healthy diet, say goodbye to extra sugars and save room for more important foods. Feel free to enjoy these drinks on your own, or share them with someone special.