If you’re looking to make a small but impactful change to benefit your health in 2017, you might start by examining what you drink on a daily basis. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that on average, Americans drink around 400 calories per day, with about 37% of those calories coming from sugar-sweetened beverages.

Healthy swaps for sugary drinks

Of course, you get the most nutritional bang for your buck by swapping out sugary drinks for water. By drinking out of your BPA-free water bottle throughout the day, you’ll enjoy health benefits like increased metabolism, glowing skin, and a better brain. Here are some other swap ideas to get you started on a healthier path.

If you can’t live without your morning latte…

… try exchanging your 16-ounce flavored latte with 2% milk for that same latte — but with half the amount of sweetener. Even better, try sugar-free flavored syrup if your coffee shop has it. You’ll cut out about 2.5 teaspoons of sugar and still get a hint of sweetness in your stainless steel coffee mug.

If you’re addicted to diet soda…

… we hate to break it to you, but diet soda still contains rude amounts of sugar (up to 9.75 teaspoons, to be exact). Instead, mix ten ounces of club soda with two ounces of unsweetened fruit juice for a whopping eight teaspoons less of sugar.

If you start each day with a fresh glass of OJ…

… treat yourself to fruit-infused water instead. You’ll get the perks of drinking a glass of water when you first wake up (like firing up your metabolism and rehydrating your body after 8+ hours of not drinking anything). Plus, drinking fruit-infused water has its own benefits too. Certain fruits have been shown to boost your immune system, aid digestion, fight hunger cravings, and reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Adding them to your hydration sets you up for a healthier lifestyle.

Prep a water pitcher with an infuser stick the night before so it’s ready to pour first thing on the morning. Or, if you’re always on the go, use an infused water bottle that you can take with you.

If you religiously buy a protein shake or smoothie post-workout…

… you might be surprised to learn that these drinks, which are often touted as beacons of health, can contain tons of sugar, undoing all of their positive benefits. Instead, take matters into your own hands and blend your own protein shake at home, using water or unsweetened almond milk mixed with low sugar protein powder in your protein shaker bottle.

Or, if you love the taste of a fresh fruit smoothie, you can either make it yourself (using sugar-free and all natural ingredients, like real fruit and ice) or keep an eye on what ingredients your local smoothie bar uses. Stay away from frozen yogurts, sherbet, and fruit puree – these often have hidden sugars.

 

What are your tricks for cutting down on sugar? Let us know in the comments!

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