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What Are the Different Types of Low Calorie Drinks?

When dieting or trying to lose weight, cutting calories is one of the most important changes a person can make, particularly if excess calories are coming from junk food or non-food items, such as high calorie beverages. Calories are needed because they give the body energy, but calories that come from most beverages add little to no nutritional value, making them one of the first items that should be cut to encourage healthier eating. Many beverages are considered low calorie drinks, so dieters do not have to sacrifice variety when eliminating high calorie liquids. Some of the best choices for low calorie drinks are water, tea, coffee, and milk.

Water contains no calories and helps dieters feel full, making them less likely to indulge in high calorie meals and snacks. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to low calorie drinks, but powdered flavor packets or pre-flavored water are often low in calories and add more variety to the taste for those who do not like or get tired of plain water. Drinking ice water can actually help burn a few calories due to the energy the body expends to raise the temperature of the water to body temperature.

Plain tea and coffee are low calorie drinks that can help break the monotony of plain water. Naturally caffeine-free tea and decaffeinated coffee are suitable choices for those who are sensitive to caffeine or who should not drink it due to a medical condition or medication. Many teas also contain important antioxidants to help keep the body healthy. Adding sugar, cream, honey, or other flavor enhancers to coffee and tea significantly raises the calorie content.

Milk is an excellent source of calcium, which helps maintain strong bones. Calcium also helps suppress a hormone called calcitrol, which encourages the body to produce more and bigger fat cells. Choosing skim or reduced-fat milk helps the body get the benefits of dairy products without the excessive amount of calories found in whole milk. Water and other low calorie drinks should still make up the bulk of an individual's liquid intake, however.

Many alcoholic beverages and cocktails are high in calories, and it can be difficult to avoid them in social situations. Cocktails made with low calorie drinks, such as diet soda, coffee, and light juices, used as mixers are good choices when going out, but they should still be consumed in limited amounts since even a small amount of spirits can contain 100 calories or more. Light beer and small glasses of wine are also wise choices for those counting calories because they often contain less calories per serving than cocktails.

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