Well, I have to start with water. Water, water, water, water. Spring, summer, winter and fall, I would say the best drink for athletes is water. And for the times when you have long depleting workouts, there are several waters that contain electrolytes that can replenish you.
But when fall hits and you’re hankering for a hot cup of cider or a pumpkin latte, what options do you have? Which drinks are tasty but don’t fill you with too much sugar? What are your healthiest choices?
Control The Ingredients In Your Drink
Whatever you prefer, I might first suggest that you try making it yourself. This way you can control the ingredients and keep the drink on the healthy side. You can water down the cider and then add more spice or for a latte, use skim or 1% milk instead of whole milk. And for the times when you have long depleting workouts, there are several waters that contain electrolytes that can replenish you.
Many of the ingredients found in fall drinks have health benefits. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, apple contains polyphenols (compounds in plants that act as antioxidants), and pumpkin is filled with potassium, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and fiber. Just remember when you buy drinks at a store or coffee shop, many of the ingredients are just flavors and sugar.
For that best fall drink, make some version of the drinks below and stay away from adding sugar.
Fantastic Fall Drinks
This is a classic and it can be healthy if made with real cocoa or dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that keep your blood flowing, reduce blood pressure and decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke. (Use dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao).
Spiced apple cider
Apple cider contains polyphenols, which are compounds in plants that act as antioxidants. They help your body fight against free radicals and cell damage, lowering your risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and help ease inflammation in the body.
Chai or cinnamon tea
Chai tea has many of the benefits associated with green tea. It’s a great source of antioxidants that help fight stress and aid in preventing other conditions including cancer. Depending on its preparation, it can include Manganese, Calcium, potassium, and Vitamin K. An unsweetened chia tea brewed with water has no calories, fat, and sugar. And there is research that indicated that it can provide benefits to both short-term and long-term cogitative brain function.
Vegan chia hot chocolate
This vegan drink combines many fall favorites and has. You can’t go wrong giving this one a try.
Pumpkin is good for you! It is a vegetable that has potassium, antioxidants, beta-carotene and fiber. For a cool fall drink, give this one a try.
Coffee is rich in powerful antioxidants and has been shown to have other benefits, especially for women. Research has found that women who drink at least one cup a day are less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. And though honey contains nutrients, unlike sugar, the small amount added to coffee will provide minimal health benefits.
Hot Almond and cream
Almond milk is rich in several nutrients though it is watered down compared to the benefits you would get with whole almonds. Still it is a tasty drink to start or end you fall day.
If you make it right, this combo gives you the benefits of chocolate, coffee and mint, which contain an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
A chai latte takes the flavors associated with masala chai, a common spiced tea drink present in most households throughout India.
Pumpkin spice latte
I love a pumpkin latte from time to time. And pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg are good for you, but it’s all about the sugar when you get this drink at a store. Make a low sugar drink yourself or simply understand that what you’re putting into your body is not healthy. Treat it like a dessert. (16-ounce size of Starbucks’ version with 2 percent milk and whipped cream has 380 calories and contains 50 grams of sugar)
Try the recipes above and adjust them to make your own. Control ingredients like sugar and milk to keep the drink healthy and keep your body ready to compete.