12 Quick and Easy Drinks to Start the Day Slideshow
March 27, 2012
Make at Home: Almond Milk
Almonds are often recommended as an energy food, and this popular, low-calorie cow’s milk alternative is good source of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. Although commercial varieties are widely available, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home — and better for you, too. The recipe makes 5 cups — prepare a batch at the end of the weekend to have it ready to enjoy it all week long.
Make at Home: Banana Pear Lassi
This delicious take on the popular Indian yogurt drink adds in potassium-rich bananas and fresh pear, which is great for a quick energy boost (just what you need for your morning commute).
Make at Home: Tea-Licious Smoothie
This refreshing combination of peppermint tea and citrus from the orange and grapefruit makes for a great low-fat, low-calorie pick-me-up.
Make at Home: Ginger Berry Smoothie
You can’t go wrong with this health-conscious combo: Ginger is great for digestion, while berries are super high in antioxidants. There’s a good amount of protein in the almond milk and Greek yogurt, but if you want it to be more filling, add a scoop of whey protein (the vanilla flavor tastes best). Also, using frozen berries is cost-efficient and helpful when berries are out of season.
Make at Home: Rose Hip Tea
Orange juice is the obvious morning drink of choice when you’re looking for a dose of vitamin C, but this herbal tea is also a great source of the vitamin — plus, you get the added caffeine boost. (And for serious on-the-go types, there’s even a thermos that lets you steep mid-travel.)
Supermarket Picks: Naked Juice Green Machine
This is one drink that doesn’t benefit from the old adage that we eat with our eyes first. It’s true — the dark green juice smoothie isn’t much to look at (the makers even admit it on the label), but it doesn’t taste like liquid salad if that’s what you’re thinking. The blend of apples, banana, kiwi, and mango does a good job of sweetening up the drink’s other healthful ingredients like energy-boosting spirulina, spinach, and wheatgrass.
Supermarket Picks: Zico Natural Coconut Water
In recent years, coconut water has garnered a lot of attention and popularity as a sports and energy drink. While some prefer the taste of Vita Coco, another popular brand, Zico was one nutritionist Sandra Frank’s top pick in Bon Appétit’s coconut water taste test. Consider this electrolyte-rich, low-calorie drink if you’re a fan of morning workouts.
Supermarket Picks: Mamma Chia
Chia seeds (yes, the same ones in the Chia Pet you bought in 1994) have taken off in popularity as a high-protein, fiber-rich supplement. They're a great natural source of energy, and when placed in liquid the seeds expand and develop a slightly chewy texture (think of bubble tea). If you don’t feel like experimenting with your own homemade version, pick up this new bottled fruit juice and chia seed drink for a healthful boost.
Supermarket Picks: Bolthouse Berry Boost Smoothie
If you can’t quite commit to the green juice (or at least want an alternative to keep your options varied), try this berry-packed smoothie. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods has been recommended to help provide energy, as antioxidants target the chemicals in our body that lead to fatigue and illness.
On-the-Go Picks: Starbucks Double Espresso Macchiato
Drink This, Not That recommends the double espresso macchiato in favor of calorie-laden lattes (especially the flavored varieties) — and it will still provide the desired caffeine boost. If you’re more of a tea drinker, you could opt for a simple green tea (again, careful, not the latte version).
On-the-Go Picks: Jamba Juice Fresh Orange Carrot Banana Juice
This drink, from the chain’s newly launched line of fresh juices, is slightly sweet and clocks in at a modest 160 calories for the 16-ounce size. As for the blend’s benefits, carrots are good for increasing vitality and vigor, while oranges provide a quick energy boost.
On-the-Go Picks: Smoothie King "Make it Skinny" Coffee Smoothie Mocha
In this simple blend of coffee, skim milk, protein blend, and turbinado sugar, there are only 160 calories in the 20-ounce "make it skinny" variety. Or, if you want a non-coffee option, try the "make it skinny" Green Tea Tango, which is made with matcha green tea and comes in at less than 200 calories for the 20-ounce size.