One of the most deceptive ways to break any diet can be drinking alcohol. Even the healthiest eaters can frequently overlook the calorie count that accompanies an evening at the bar with friends. Drinking a beer isn’t likely to feel as indulgent as eating a donut, which is why being careless with drinks can lead to a roadblock in your goal of being healthier this summer. Part of the downside of drinking is that it’s usually done just before bed, so there’s minimal burning of sugar and calories going on afterwards. If you eat an unhealthy lunch, you may have a lot of physical and mental activity left in your day to help keep all the carbs from going straight to your waistline; having a few drinks and then just hit the sack, not so much.
As is the case with food, there are ways to enjoy alcohol without packing on pounds and feeling tired the next day. The first way you can do this is by drinking in moderation. Any type of alcohol consumed in excess is likely to sabotage your waistline to an extent. Plus, when we’re drinking a lot during the summer months, we tend to be hydrating less frequently. That, paired with the heat of summer, can lead to dangerous dehydration that could leave you feeling fatigued and dizzy, and that could manifest in other ways, like throwing your metabolism off. Aim for one glass of water per drink. Lastly, try not to use sugary sodas as mixers if you can avoid it. It may not seem like much when combined with ice and alcohol, but after a few refills, 12+ ounces of soda is the last thing your body wants right before bed.
With that said, we’ve collected a few tasty alternatives to Rum and Coke that will leave you looking and feeling better in the moment as well as the next day.
Quite the bitter beverage, this is not everyone’s favorite drink. It is beloved by many though, and it’s one of the healthier cocktail options out there. In addition to an absence of sweeteners, Bloody Mary’s are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Ingredients include tomato juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, horseradish, vodka, salt and pepper, and a celery stem. This is one of the few drinks often preferred during the daytime.
A wine-based cocktail, mixed with fruit and (often) liquor, this is a summertime favorite for all. There are dozens of different ways to make tasty sangria, some healthier than others. Which fruit you want to be the main ingredient is up to you, but the most important thing to remember is to use real fruit. Choosing natural sugars found in fruit as a sweetener instead of pre-made mixes provides a more refreshing taste and lower glucose levels.
We know what you’re thinking; Guinness is a thick beer. After all, it’s called a stout for good reason. Despite it’s thick composition, a 12-ounce can has less than 130 calories. Unlike most other beers, it also contains healthy antioxidants, similar to red wine. It may not be your go to beach beer, but it’s a perfect beer to sip on a summer night during those long conversations with your best bud.
Gin and Tonic
Everybody has a friend whose drink is a gin and tonic. Typically they’re probably not ordering it to be healthy, but indeed it’s a far better alternative to, say, a whiskey ginger. A single has only 103 calories. It also gives you incentive to hang out with that friend more this summer, who may or may not be a little too cool for school sometimes.
This tasty cocktail just sounds like it was made for summer. Perfect for nearly any occasion this time of year, a Sea Breeze is an easy to make combination of grapefruit and cranberry juices and vodka, paired with either an orange slice or lime wedge as a garnish. Best served on the rocks. Bring the beach to you, whether you’re in a crowded bar or a friend’s back porch.