From leftover baked goods in the office kitchen to chocolatey temptations framing the grocery store checkout line, sugar is downright tricky to avoid.
Eliminating sugar from your diet isn’t easy, but according to the CDC, reducing your intake wherever possible can have a huge impact on your health as they’ve found that consuming too many added sugars can lead to health problems such as “weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.”
One place to start is your liquid diet. While it’s easy to identify and avoid obvious sugar bombs like cookies and cakes, you may be unaware how much sugar is in the beverages you’re consuming on a daily basis. So rather than grabbing fruit juice or a sweet coffee concoction the next time you have a craving, try one of these sugar-free or low-sugar drinks and let us know which one ends up being your favorite!
List of drinks without sugar
1. Iced or hot tea
Tea is an extremely broad category of beverage. From bright, floral blends to earthy chais, there’s a tea out there for everyone! In addition to a variety of flavor profiles, teas also have varying caffeine levels and can be made in many different ways. Tea is easily brewed hot or cold, can be prepared in advance or on the spot, and best of all contains no sugar.
2. Water with lemon or lime
A mainstay of fancy restaurants, water with a splash of lemon juice (or a lemon wedge) is also a refreshing, sugarless drink to enjoy at home. If you’re looking for something that really packs a punch, try adding lime juice, or a mixture of lemon and lime, to your water.
3. Sparkling water: flavored or unflavored
With the exception of tea, sparkling water is likely the most robust category of beverage on this list of drinks without sugar. From plain carbonated water to exotic flavors like Strawberry Lemongrass, Peach Mango, and Key Lime, there are hundreds of options to choose from. If you’re trying to quit soda, but crave the pop of your favorite cola, sparkling water is your sugar-free hero.
Coffee can be enjoyed in many different ways: drip coffee, cold brew, french press, espresso, ice coffee…the list goes on!
If you’re already an avid coffee drinker looking to cut back on sugar, here are a few ways to wean yourself off of sugary coffee:
Add cinnamon or nutmeg to your coffee instead.
Try switching brands and finding a coffee flavor you enjoy more.
Test out different kinds of milk, such as almond, soy, or hazelnut. (Some brands may contain sugar.)
Measure out the amount of sugar you need for a typical week’s worth of coffee. Try using the same amount over the course of two weeks instead of one.
5 . Fruit and herb infusions
One of the more time-consuming drinks to prepare on this list, fruit infusions are a great way to get rid of any extra fruit you might have. Like tea, fruit infusions grow stronger the longer they steep. For flavorful cucumber-lemon water, leave your slices of lemon and cucumber in a jug of cold water for a minimum of 4 hours. Alternatively, you could purchase a reusable infusion water bottle to enjoy your infusions on the go.
As you move towards a sugarless lifestyle, sip on the following low-sugar beverages to ease the transition:
6. Fresh-squeezed mint lemonade
A classic summertime pick-me-up, fresh lemonade has enough flavor to wash away your sugar-craving days. Try swapping granulated sugar for a healthy sweetener, such as cane sugar, honey, or agave nectar, to shift your tastes away from refined sugar. Add in mint or strawberry slices for a more nuanced flavor.
7. Coconut water
Typically containing around 8-10 grams of sugar, coconut water is a great alternative for folks looking to find a sugarless alternative to tropical smoothies. Unlike coconut milk, which is more creamy as the name implies, coconut water is nutty and refreshing, with a tiny bit of sweetness.
Kombucha is a health trend that shows no signs of fizzling out. While its bold flavor is not for everyone, Kombucha typically contains little to no sugar and has the added benefit of probiotics, which are known to promote gut health. Most grocery stores now carry Kombucha, with some health food stores even offering it on tap.
9. Maple water
We know what you’re thinking: you can drink maple syrup now?
Maple water is quite different than its syrupy counterpart. Made from unprocessed maple tree sap, maple water is around 98 percent water and free of additives and preservatives. At just 15 calories per 8 oz glass, maple water has a small amount of natural sugar (5-10 grams) and a subtle flavor that’ll have you saying “Oh tap!”
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