Summer Drink Recipes with Calories and Exercise Equivalents

by Charles Platkin, PhD

with and

Here are several high-calorie and low-calorie drinks to help quench your summer thirst and fill your belly. Keep in mind that seltzer, unsweetened iced tea and water are real low-calorie alternatives, but in case you’re looking for a few others, here you go.

Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie

Makes four 1-cup servings

2 large nectarines, pitted and quartered
1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
1 large orange, peeled and quartered
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey

Place the nectarines, frozen banana chunks, orange, vanilla yogurt, orange juice and honey in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Source: contributor Sarah-May

Nutrition per serving: 184 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 48
Bike: 26
Run: 20
Swim: 23
Yoga: 63
Dance: 31

Honeydew-Mint Mist

Makes four 10-ounce servings

1 cup ripe honeydew melon chunks (about 1/4 melon)
15 large fresh mint leaves
4 cups chilled still water

Pureé all the ingredients together in a blender. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Chill well before serving. This refreshing beverage is inspired by agua de mel — a traditional Mexican drink. Mint adds a clean, herbal note to the sweet green flavor of the honeydew.

Source: Cool Waters by Brian Preston-Campbell (The Harvard Common Press, 2009)

Nutrition per serving: 25 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes: Walk: 6
Bike: 4
Run: 3
Swim: 3
Yoga: 9
Dance: 4

Sweet Tart

Makes six 10-ounce servings

1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, plus more for garnish
1 large Red Delicious apple, cored and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small pinch of ground nutmeg
6 cups chilled still water

Place the cranberries, apple, lemon juice, nutmeg and 2 cups of the water in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher.

Add the remaining water and stir gently. Garnish the glasses with a few additional whole cranberries. They float!

Source: Cool Waters by Brian Preston-Campbell (The Harvard Common Press, 2009)

Nutrition per serving: 19 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes: Walk: 5
Bike: 3
Run: 2
Swim: 2
Yoga: 7
Dance: 3

Terrys Summer Tea

Makes eight 1-cup servings
3 red lavender (rooibos) teabags or 1 tablespoon loose tea
Sprigs of mint
3 green tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose tea
1/4 can unsweetened white grape juice concentrate

Steep the red lavender tea and mint in hot water, just off the boil, for at least 5 minutes. Add the green tea and steep for 3-4 minutes (no longer). Remove the green tea. Pour the tea into a half-gallon container with the grape juice concentrate. Fill the container with water and refrigerate.

Source: Terry Shaw, Licensed Dietitian at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas

Nutrition per serving: 30.5 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes: Walk: 8
Bike: 4
Run: 3
Swim: 4
Yoga: 10
Dance: 5

Sparkling Cran Razzy

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
2 cups seltzer
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 lime wedges for garnish
If using fresh raspberries, freeze them in a single layer for about 1 hour (or overnight).

Combine the cranberry-raspberry juice, seltzer and lime juice in a pitcher. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with frozen raspberries and lime wedges.

Source: EatingWell Test Kitchen for EatingWell magazine. Eating Well Inc.

Nutrition per serving: 65 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes: Walk: 17
Bike: 9
Run: 7
Swim: 8
Yoga: 22
Dance: 11

Sparkling Citrus Julep

Makes 10 servings

5 ounces good quality citrus-infused vodka
1 ounce sugar (or agave)
10-15 fresh mint leaves (no stems)
1 bottle Polar Mint Mojito Seltzer
Crushed ice

Combine all the ingredients in a container.

Source: Polar Seltzer

Nutrition per serving: 33.6 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes: Walk: 9
Bike: 5
Run: 4
Swim: 4
Yoga: 12
Dance: 8

Baileys Summer Chill Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

1.5 ounces Baileys Irish cream
1 scoop coffee ice cream
1 banana, chopped
2-3 ice cubes

First pour the Baileys into the mixer/ blender, next add the ice cream followed by the chopped banana. Finally add the ice cubes and mix for approximately 40 seconds. Pour into two glasses, put up your feet, drink slowly and chill.

Source: CraveOnline/Drinks Mixer

Nutrition per serving: 270 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 70
Bike: 38.5
Run: 29
Swim: 33
Yoga: 92.5
Dance: 46

Southside of Sicily

Makes 10 servings

3-4 cucumber slices
1 1/2 tablespoons agave
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 cup fresh blood orange or regular orange juice
1/4 cup roasted almond infused fino sherry (see Note below)

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber, agave and lime juice for two minutes. Add the orange juice, sherry and ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute and top it off with your favorite Champagne.

Note: To make infused fino sherry, roast pound lightly chopped almonds and place in a jar with a bottle of fino sherry. Seal jar and store in a cool dry place for at least a week.

Source: Matthew Biancaniello, Mixologist at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotels Library Bar

Nutrition per serving: 117 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 30
Bike: 17
Run: 12
Swim: 14
Yoga: 40
Dance: 20

Here are a few tips for lightening up your drinks

  •     Use more and /or larger ice cubes.
  •     Go easy on the sugar. Add sugar to taste, not necessarily according to the recipe.
  •     Use freshly squeezed juices.
  •     Use smaller glasses.
  •     Try some good lower-calorie drink options: red or white wine, wine spritzers and drinks made with seltzer or club soda.
  •     Steer clear of drinks that are really desserts (e.g., cream or ice cream drinks).
Rate this post

You may also like

Subscribe To The Weekly Food & Nutrition News and Research Digest
Our weekly email news and research digest is everything you need to know about food, nutrition, fitness and health.
No Thanks
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will NEVER be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.