• Tea is a good choice for a calorie-free drink. There are many varieties including caffeinated or decaf and herbal teas. Most bottled teas are high in calories, but home brewed teas are easy to make and are less expensive. Teas flavored with fruit, herbs and spices can add a sweet taste with not calories. For an extra zip add citrus zest and a teaspoon of sugar or honey and you add only 15 calories or try calorie-free sweeteners. Teas are also high in antioxidants and flavonoids.
• What about alcoholic beverages? Many people enjoy an ice cold beer or a glass of wine to cool down, but those extra alcohol calories can result in added weight. To reduce calories, make your wine a spritzer or your beer a shandy. Mix wine half and half with sparkling water for a spritzer. To make a shandy, mix your beer in equal amounts with a low-calorie carbonated citrus beverage. Spritzer or a shandy allows you to have two drinks for about the calorie cost of one alcoholic drink.
Enjoy your favorite beverages during the summer and take advantage of the outdoors to compensate those extra calories. Having fun in the sun walking, jogging, or biking burns them off and gives you another reason to look forward to cool liquid refreshments.
Source: Colorado State University Extension
Kathy Smith is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Parker County. Contact her at (817) 598-6168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.