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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

Do All Healthy Drinks Need to Be Boring and Gross?

​With all the recent concern over the amount of sugar in our food and drinks, there has been lots of talk about being more mindful about what you are drinking. Still – knowing how much sugar is in all your favorite drinks doesn’t always make you stop drinking them, especially when you think the alternatives are bland and boring. But *infomercial voice* it doesn’t have to be that way! There are plenty of drinks that are good for you and are not boring and gross. Let’s discuss!

via: sophakicooks

If you are a big soda and sweetened iced tea or coffee drinker, turning to drink only water might be pretty difficult because of the lack of sweetness. A much healthier, but still sweet drink is flavored water. There are literally thousands of different variations on flavored water so I am positive that even those of us with a serious soda addiction will be able to find one to suit their tastes. You can buy flavored waters from just about everywhere now – just make sure to look at the ingredient list to make sure they really are healthy. Sometimes flavored waters that appear healthy are actually just drinks that are packed with as much sugar as soda in disguise. You want to look for a short ingredient list with words that you can pronounce and a small (or zero!) amount of sugar per serving.

​Alternatively you can make your own flavored water! If you don’t mind taking a few extra minutes to prepare a drink, and have a water bottle or glass available, making your own is so simple. Just throw a few pieces of your favorite fruits into a glass of water, let it infuse for just a bit, and viola – you’ve got your own flavored water. You could also use fresh mint or cucumbers to flavor the water, just be sure to roughly chop up the mint so the flavor is exposed. If you have trouble drinking water because you find it to be boring, this is such a quick way to help you get those ounces in.

via: agirlwithtea on flickr

​You can also alter drinks that you might already drink to make them healthier. I mentioned sweetened tea and coffee above as being unhealthy, but the reality is that these drinks at their core are not bad for you but all the additions we make to them are. It’s the extra sugar (in the form of real sugar, artificial sugar, or syrups) and dairy (whether it be cream, half and half, or milk) that really kill these drinks. Like making the switch from soda to water, trying to drink black coffee or tea with nothing in it might seem disgusting, but it’s not impossible – especially if you do it a little at a time. And in the process you might even find that you like the taste of coffee or tea! When I first tried coffee I thought it was impossibly bitter and immediately began drowning it in cream and sugar until you could barely taste the coffee anymore. I drank it like this for years, until I randomly tried it black one day and what do you know, I actually liked the taste. Our taste buds change, so it’s worth trying drinks (and food) that you didn’t really like initially, again.

via: food network

​There are two types of healthy drinks that became MAJOR trends recently (I bet you can finish this sentence before you even read it): juices and smoothies. Certain types of both of these drinks are delicious, certain types are not, some are healthy for you, and some are not. Unless you are making them yourself at home, you should pay attention to exactly what is going in these drinks to make sure they fall into the “healthy and delicious” category. First, let’s start with making sure they are delicious. This is such simple advice but: look for juices and smoothies that have more things that you like in them that you don’t. And do not be afraid if you see ingredients like kale, romaine lettuce, and chia seeds listed along with a string of foods you do like – once these foods are juiced or blended they lose a lot of their taste. So you’ll be getting their nutrition, but only tasting the food you like. Healthy and delicious!

There are so many alternatives out there that are much healthier than the sugary sodas that many of us live on, and you don’t even need to sacrifice flavor when drinking them! In my own quest to live a little healthier, I’ve actually found that I enjoy the “healthier” drinks more than the sugary ones that used to take up so much of my diet. When you eliminate the extra sugar, the pure flavors of the drinks come out more and will often times have a stronger – and more delicious – flavor.

Did I forget your favorite healthy drink? Share it below!

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