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Healthier Ways to Get Your Caffeine

The best ways to get your boost

5 Calorie-Free Caffeine Tips

1. Freshly Brewed Tea Is Tops

If you haven't tried tea lately, give it a second look. There are so many flavorful types available now, even at the grocery store. And when it comes to phytochemicals, freshly brewed is best! Bottled teas apparently have less than freshly brewed tea.

2. Make Mine Iced

Iced tea is a great summer sipper, as long as it isn't sweetened. I've found that nicely flavored iced tea doesn't need any sweeteners at all. And you can turn any hot tea into iced tea just by chilling a pitcher in the refrigerator after it's brewed. If you like your iced tea with a touch of sweetness, try a packet of an artificial sweetener like Equal.

3. Pump up the Protein and Calcium

Make sure your caffeine fix doesn't fill your diet with extra calories. The fancier the coffee drink, the bigger the calorie and fat totals. Asking for nonfat milk in your latte and other coffee drinks brings down the calories and fat while pumping up the protein and calcium. For example, a "tall" Starbucks Iced Café Mocha made with whole milk has 170 calories and 6 grams of fat, while the same drink with nonfat milk has 130 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

4. Watch Out for Chai Lattes!

They contain extra calories from milk and sugar. There are some light chai lattes out there, however. If you're ordering one at a coffee bar, opt for nonfat milk and artificial sweetener.

5. Diet Soft Drinks Save Calories

The caffeine in your average 12-ounce cola rivals the amount in a cup of tea: 42 and 47 milligrams, respectively. But getting your caffeine fix this way can add up to 140 calories a can, if you choose regular sweetened sodas! That said, even though diet sodas will help keep those beverage calories down, I think it's best to drink them in moderation. I try to keep my intake to one can a day.

Reviewed on September 01, 2005

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