by Alison McAleese, LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager and Dietitian

puppies enjoying watermelon

How to cool down without the sugar

By Alison McAleese

At first glimpse a frozen drink can seem like a cheap and innocent way to cool down on a scorching day. However, we looked beyond the price tag and found they’re packed with added sugar!

In fact, many frozen drinks contain over a days worth of sugar, while the worst offenders have up to 20 teaspoons!

The World Health Organization recommends we limit our added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons a day, so it’s alarming to realise that one slushee contains around 3 times this.

Regularly drinking sugary drinks, including frozen drinks, increases our risk of weight gain and can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

While clever marketing makes frozen drinks seem like a fun, cheap way to cool down, there are many other options that aren’t packed with sugar and won’t hurt your waistline.

Here are a few you can try:

  • Keep well hydrated with water: Before reaching for a sugary drink, make sure you’re well hydrated with cool iced water. It can be easy to confuse thirst for hunger.

  • Spritz yourself with water: Use a spray bottle of water to cool down your face and arms – keep it in the fridge for added chill factor.
  • Run water over your wrists or use a cold towel: Alternatively run water over your wrists or wrap a cool wet towel around your neck.
  • Make your own drinks: Try LiveLighter’s refreshing drinks that aren’t packed with sugar. Cucumber or mint are perfect options for a hot afternoon.
  • Make your own frozen treats: We have plenty of recipes for inspiration including frozen berry sorbet and strawberry kiwi icy treats.
  • Go for a swim: Ocean, pool, river or lake – or even a kiddie paddling pool – will all do the trick. If there isn’t a swimming spot nearby try a cool shower or bath.

The offenders:  

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This particular table looks at frozen soft drinks, but we advise steering clear of other frozen drinks too. This includes thick shakes, which can have up to (and sometimes more than) 30 teaspoons of sugar in a single serve.

How do you stay cool on a hot day? Tell us in the comments below.

For more info, check out our top tips for cutting back on sugary drinks here .

[i] See ii

[ii] Average male