ALTERNATIVES TO WATER FOR STAYING HYDRATED
We may be biased, but a delicious cup of tea is our favourite, healthy alternative to water. A cup of tea counts towards your 6-8 glasses of fluid a day and is packed full of antioxidants.
We all know that we need to drink enough water to allow our bodies to function normally, and to prevent dehydration. In fact, the NHS recommends we drink 6-8 glasses of fluids a day. However, while water is completely free of calories and sugar, it’s not always the most appealing option. Try swapping a glass or two of water with some of these healthy alternatives to help keep you on track.
8 HEALTHY DRINKS YOU NEED TO TRY (BESIDES WATER)
Be warned, some pre-packaged iced teas contain huge amounts of added sugar. A single serving (half a bottle) of leading brand iced tea contains a whopping 11g of sugar! But that doesn’t stop you making your own low-sugar iced teas in batches to keep in the fridge.
To make your own iced tea to store in the fridge, add 3-4 tea bags to a jug and fill with one third boiling water. Leave to steep for a few minutes, top up with cold water and serve over ice. Experiment with different flavour tea bags and fresh fruit, or why not try one of our iced tea recipes, specially developed to work with your favourite Twinings blends?
Most fruit and herbal teas have just a couple of calories, with no excess sugar. What’s more, there are hundred of different varieties to choose from, so they are the perfect solution if you find water too monotonous. Many herbal and fruit infusions don’t actually contain any tea (‘real’ tea can only come from the Camellia sinensis plant), so many are naturally caffeine free, which is ideal for later in the day or if you’re watching your caffeine intake.
JUICES & SMOOTHIES
Juices and smoothies can be packed full of sugar, especially packaged products, but if you make your own, and are careful with the ingredients you select, they can be a great healthy alternative if you have a sweet craving.
Homemade smoothies can be a great source of fibre, as well as helping you on your way to a few of your five-a-day, but be careful with juicing, as a lot of the fibre is removed during the juicing process.
Smoothies and juices can be quite high in calories and sugar, so it’s best to enjoy them in moderation.
Adding fresh fruit to still or sparkling water is a great way to brighten up an ordinary cup. Try adding some cut up citrus fruits like lemons, limes or oranges to a jug of iced water, or experiment with other flavours. Cucumber and mint are also nice additions, and you could even add a few sliced strawberries for a light, fruity flavour.
Flavouring water with fresh fruit minimises the added sugar and calories compared to cordials and squashes, and results in a lovely fresh flavour.
Coconut water (not to be confused with coconut milk, which is very high in fat) is the juice found in a very young coconut. Its main component is water, but it’s also packed full of nutrients, making it a great tasting, healthy alternative.
A 250ml serving of leading brand coconut water contains more than your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, as well as nearly 500mg of potassium! Watch out for how much sugar your coconut water contains though - some branded products will be higher in sugar or have added sugars.
MILK & MILK ALTERNATIVES
It’s a well-known fact that milk is packed full of calcium, which is important for building strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also used in regulating muscle contractions (movement) and is involved in making sure blood clots correctly.
A 250ml glass of semi-skimmed milk contains fewer than 120 calories, and has around 8g or protein, over 300mg of Calcium (adults need around 700mg a day) and around 2.25 micrograms of Vitamin B12 (you need about 1.5 micrograms a day).
While we’d recommend staying away from sugar laden coffees like frappes and those with added syrup, an ordinary black coffee or a coffee with a dash of semi-skimmed milk or your favourite non-dairy milk alternative is still a perfectly good substitute for water from time to time, and still counts towards your 6-8 cups a day.
Decaffeinated options are great if you’re watching your caffeine intake (be aware, however, that even decaffeinated options will contain some caffeine).
If you find it hard to ween yourself off sweetened coffee drinks, try adding a teaspoon of Monin Syrup, which are just 20 calories per teaspoon, with around 3g of sugar.
We may be biased, but a delicious cup of tea is our favourite, healthy alternative to water. A cup of tea counts towards your 6-8 glasses of fluid a day (even the caffeinated versions) and is packed full of antioxidants. It’s also completely calorie and sugar free (unless you add milk and sugar).