With the holiday season now in full swing, you may be wondering what you should and shouldn’t indulge in, including beverages. Holiday parties and alcoholic beverages seem to go hand-in-hand, and it’s no secret that alcohol calories add up quickly and can do a number on your fitness goals.
If you’re trying to build muscle, alcohol will put a halt to protein synthesis, decrease your natural testosterone release, and slow recovery time. If burning fat is your current goal, alcohol puts the breaks on fat oxidization in the body and contributes far too many empty calories to your day.
This being said, you don’t need to avoid festive drinks entirely. With a little planning and some creativity, you can enjoy a cocktail without it totally derailing your plan. First, consume alcohol in moderation. A casual drink here and there shouldn’t be a problem. Also, be sure to alternate these drinks with non-alcoholic varieties, especially water, to avoid feeling dehydrated.
Second, make an effort to replace some of the high-calorie mixers with lower calorie and lower sugar alternatives. Need a helping hand to get started? Try any one of these cocktails next time you’re in need of a beverage.
Mojito’s are a classic beverage enjoyed all around the world. You can participate in the enjoyment with this lightened up recipe without having to feel guilty for indulging. The peaches provide a good dose of antioxidants and stevia helps to keep the total sugar content down.
You will need:
2 large peaches, unpeeled and chopped
½ cup powdered stevia
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves
4 cups club soda, chilled
½ cup white rum
Start by processing the peaches, stevia and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Muddle the mint leaves against the bottom and sides of a glass pitcher to release their flavor. Next, add the club soda, rum, and the blended peach liquid to the pitcher. Pour into a glass over ice.
If you love a good berry cocktail, this non-alcoholic version will quickly become a favorite. The addition of Hydra-Charge yields hydration benefits. You’ll smugly be staying hydrated and feel great the morning after while everyone else is hungover and nursing a headache from their night of indulgence. This beverage also provides a strong hit of fiber from the raspberries, which can help keep hunger pangs at bay.
You will need:
1 cup fresh orange juice
3 cups of sparkling water (or club soda)
1-2 scoops of Kaged Muscle Hydra-Charge
1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
3 orange slices, halved
Pour the orange juice and raspberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Next, stir the Hydra-Charge in with the sparkling water. Add this mixture to the orange juice mixture and then stir in the orange slices. Serve over more ice if desired.
Vodka Green Quencher
Looking for a way to add more greens to your diet plan? This vodka cocktail will help boost your intake. Chock full of vitamins and nutrients with enough natural sweetness from the apples, you’ll hardly miss those sugary mixers that you used to rely on. Vodka is also one of the lightest liquors to drink, helping to keep your total calorie intake down.
You will need:
2 celery stalks
1 head romaine lettuce
2 green apples
4 oz. vodka
Mint leaves, to taste (optional)
In a juicer, combine the cucumber, celery stalks, romaine lettuce, lemon, and apples. Once juiced, stir in vodka. Add mint leaves and serve immediately.
Slim Sparkling Sangria
Sangria doesn’t have to be a summer-only beverage, and it also doesn’t have to be loaded with sugar. This version is full of color, vitamin C, antioxidants, and is relatively low in calories as well. The sweetness comes from the wide variety of fresh and frozen fruit instead of wine. If you prefer, you can also make a non-alcoholic version simply by omitting the brandy.
You will need:
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup quartered strawberries
½ cup frozen peaches
¼ cup brandy
4 cups sparkling water
Mix together the cherries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, and brandy and let stand in the fridge for 2 hours. Add in the sparkling water and serve.
When you’re attending holiday parties or family functions, don’t feel as though you have to stick to plain water. Take initiative and bring your cocktail of choice with you, ensuring you have a healthier beverage option to enjoy. With a little creativity, you can make any of your favorite items into a healthier choice—the options are endless.