This might be Hong Kong’s hottest-ever summer. With the sun blazing over your head and your shirt drenched in sweat, keeping cool in the scorching heat is essential.

So what should you do? Head to the nearest 7-Eleven and grab a cold drink? Maybe a milkshake?

Usually what you end up doing is grabbing a drink that might cool you down but that won’t be beneficial to your health or waistline. Soft drinks, frozen coffee drinks, milkshakes and slushies might be some of the tempting bevvies you lean towards. There’s nothing wrong with consuming them in moderation, but when the consumption frequency increases to almost every day, we should be concerned.

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Calories & sugar content of some popular drinks

  • Coca-Cola (12 oz) = 138kcal; 33g sugar
  • Sprite (12 oz) = 146kcal; 33g sugar
  • Tropicana Twister Fruit Punch (12 oz) = 235kcal; 37g sugar
  • Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino (12 oz; tall), no whipped cream = 210kcal;
    40g sugar
  • Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino (12 oz; tall), with whipped cream = 290kcal;
    42g sugar

How about Coke Zero, you might ask? Isn’t it better? No sugar, no calories, right? Well, it might not have any sugar or calories, but it also doesn’t provide any nutritional value. All we get from Coke Zero is a bit of caffeine and sodium. Nowadays, our daily sodium consumption already exceeds the recommended amount. Getting more sodium from Coke Zero is certainly not beneficial to our health.

Ice cream is another indulgence, often associated with special childhood memories. As much as we would love to relish those memories, we shouldn’t have milkshakes so often. Ice cream contains saturated fats, which, in excess, are linked to heart disease.

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Healthy alternatives

Instead of a soft drink or a Frappuccino from Starbucks, why not have some iced tea instead? Iced tea has numerous nutritional benefits from its antioxidant polyphenols. You can also grab an iced tea from 7-Eleven or Circle K, where they have oolong tea, green tea, green tea with honey and many other enticing flavours. These drinks are not only refreshing – they’re good for you as well! Since they contain almost no sugar (or much less sugar than soft drinks), their calorie count is not that high in comparison. Unsweetened iced tea contains as little as two calories per 12 ounces!

Not into tea? There’s always coconut water! It’s sweet, hydrating from all those electrolytes it contains and refreshing.

Cold-pressed juices are also a good, thirst-quenching and cooling replacement for soft drinks. Not only will they provide you with vitamins and minerals for that beautiful summer glow, but they’ll also help to cool you down in the summer heat.

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Genie Juicery at ifc mall in Central offers refreshing and cleansing cold-pressed juices. Their juices will give you a healthy sugar intake to both satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you down without sacrificing your health.

So don’t let the sun beat you down this summer – stay cool and hydrated with healthy drinks!

Healthy living Made simple and delicious EATOLOGY, YOUR MEAL PLANNER IN HONG KONG

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