Low and Zero Calorie Drink Mixes

One of the most important things you learn quickly after surgery is to find ways to get your liquids in. Although you’re able to take bigger sips as you get further out from surgery, I’m thinking my water/drink bottle is going to become my constant companion!  But I’m ok with that.

I was surprised to find that plain water doesn’t go down that well for me – at least not yet – at any temperature. At my latest follow up appointment, my surgeon’s PA said she hears that a lot, and while that often changes as you get further out from surgery, she isn’t quite sure why it happens.

Either way, to deal with this problem, I’ve looked for various zero or low calorie ways to flavor my water to make it more drinkable.

  1.  Add Cut-Up Fruit/Herbs to Water – If you want to give your water a little flavor but want to avoid drink mixes and artificial sweeteners, this is one way to go. You can go as simple as adding a slice of lemon or lime to your water, which most of us have had, to adding combinations of fruits and herbs to your water.Here are some great pages I’ve found with recipes for combinations you might want to try:

Nancy Creative – Flavored Waters

Buzzfeed – 15 Beautiful Fruit-Infused Waters

Deliciously Organic – 15 Flavored Water Recipes

To help me be sure that I was truly drinking infused water and not getting pieces of fruit/herbs as a drank the water, I          also bought an infusion pitcher.  These seem to be more popular, and I’ve seen them at places like Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Here are some I’ve seen online:

Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher

Contigo 72 oz Autoseal Pitcher Set

 Savvy Infuser Water Bottle 

2. Flavored Drink Mixes – We’re all familiar with these. Crystal Light is the most common, but there are a variety of other brands and types depending on the store and region you live in. I purchased a bunch of these and decided to review what i’ve tried so far. Obviously, these are all taste-dependent, but since these are so easy to use and we have so many adjustments to make after WLS, I figure what could one more person’s reviews hurt?

  • Crystal Light Lemonade
    • I’ve had trouble drinking lemonade since my surgery (although I’m only about a month out). I suspect that the sourness of lemonade may still be too much for my pouch, since I get a bit of a stomach ache after I drink this. I haven’t had this reaction with the other beverages I’ve tried, so I’m uncertain whether this is a reflection of Crystal Light or lemonade in general. One thing I  like less about Crystal Light is the taste of the sweetener they use – CL uses aspartame, and I preferred the taste of the mixes I tried with Splenda.
    • Nutrition Stats: 5 Calories Per Serving
  • 4C Totally Light Drink Mixes (Fruit Punch, Cranberry Pomegranate, Wildberry Pomegranate)
    • Currently, these mixes are my favorites (the variety pack also includes lemonade, but I haven’t tried it yet). These taste the best ice cold, in my opinion, so if you are having trouble with cold beverages after surgery, these might not be the best option, but I particularly like the Wildberry Pomegranate. If you are finding drinks especially sweet, you may want to try not using the entire packet at first in your water and adding more to taste, but the Splenda works really well to balance the drinks, in my opinion.
    • Nutrition Stats: 0 Calories Per Serving
  • Orange Crush Drink Mix
    • I found this unbearably sweet, even with extra water added. This might be a good idea if you miss the soda or something, but I couldn’t even finish drinking it. I was going to just throw the rest of the packets away, but I read a review online where someone mentioned making using these to make ice slushies in the summer – perhaps with all the extra ice, they could work?

Do you have any recommendations of drink mixes to try or stay away from?  I’d love to hear them!

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