Healthy Soda Alternatives: Low Sugar Drinks For Hot Summer Days

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Yale University's The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity released a study last week, revealing that we already know how bad sugar sweetened beverages like soda and energy drinks are for us -- and that we're hoping to cut down.

Especially in summer months, when we should up our liquid consumption to avoid dehydration, it's important to keep drink choices healthy and plentiful, but also enticing. And if New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is able to pass his proposed ban on supersized sodas, at least one city's residents will need a low-cal alternative come the dog days of August.

Liquid sources of added sugar are especially dangerous in our diet, explains HuffPost blogger Dr. Mark Hyman in an exploration of the dangers of high-fructose corn syrup (or HFCS), the type of full-calorie sweetener that is found in many sugary drinks:

HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar, and it doesn't stimulate insulin or leptin production. This prevents you from triggering the body's signals for being full and may lead to overconsumption of total calories.

But before you go for the diet soda, remember that fake sweeteners may be associated with metabolic syndrome and weight gain as well. One study found an association between high diet cola consumption and large waist circumference, and additional research has also found a link to heart attack and stroke risk.

But when plain old water won't cut it, there are other options. Here are a few easy, delicious frosty bevvies to reach for instead of a soda:

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