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Nutrition

Go Bananas Over Healthy Drinks Besides Water, Less Than $120,000

Ever gotten supremely “hangry” (you know, hungry and angry?) while on the go and needed an emergency snack? Hey, it’s happened to all of us at some point. And that’s why I’m not judging New York City-based performance artist David Datuna too hard. Mr. Datuna recently made headlines (and raised some eyebrows) when he snagged an overripe banana from a $120,000 exhibition by Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan entitled “Comedian.” On display at Miami’s Art Basel, the piece featured the banana duct-taped to a wall with a set of accompanying instructions. First, I’ll tell Mr. Datuna’s tale, and then I’ll show you some healthy drinks besides water, and how they relate to this story.

Mr. Datuna filmed himself eating the contraband and posted the clip to his Instagram account, titling it “Hungry Artist.” He even indicated to interviewers that he walked around the gallery for a while before snatching the prized fruit! Why’d he wait? Well, he wasn’t hungry yet! Thankfully, Mr. Cattelan doesn’t seem to be too miffed and isn’t pressing charges. (That may be because he’s sold two other editions of “Comedian” at $120,000 each). 

‘Starving’ Artist Eats $120k Banana at Art Basel – DW News

I can’t swear that you won’t be sued (or worse!) if you start eating parts of people’s artwork. However, I can help you to prepare for when you’re out and about. Here are some suggestions for healthy drinks besides water that you can pack in your sweet 1AND1 drink bottle. Bonus: they won’t even cost you that Tesla you’ve been saving for.

Healthy Drinks Besides Water… No Duct Tape Required

Be honest: you probably have a Hydro Flask water bottle on hand pretty much all of the time. Water is always a great option for hydration. Among water’s benefits, it’s calorie-free, and you can flavor it with chunks of pineapple or watermelon, a few raspberries, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Drinking enough water can even boost your metabolism! It’s easy to get sick of it, though, and a recent study suggests that it’s not necessarily the most hydrating beverage choice. If you’re dehydrated, sipping something with a little protein, sugar, or fat in it may be a better option.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you reach for a sugary soda or “juice drink” that only contains 10% fruit juice. They’re not great options for hydration and are full of empty calories. Moreover, your pearly whites (and your dentist) will thank you for avoiding them. So if you see a neon-green “juice beverage” taped to a wall, ignore any instructions and leave it there. Please. 

If you’re a milk drinker, both skim and full-fat options can keep you hydrated for up to four hours. The protein in milk can help you to feel fuller, too, if you’re trying to cut back on snacking. If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, reach for orange juice. It’s not the lowest-calorie option (no fruit juice is), but you can pour it over ice or dilute it with a little water. Note that if you’re prone to acid reflux and its symptoms (like heartburn), skim milk is your best bet.  

Here are a couple more delicious beverages you can obtain in a health food store, rather than pilfering someone’s artwork:

  • Collagen drinks from Vital Proteins in yummy flavors like lemon ginger and blueberry mint.
  • Electrolyte-rich sports drinks from ROAR Organics, which are lower in calories and sugar than similar offerings from other brands. Try the refreshing Georgia peach or strawberry coconut variety.
  • Coconut water from VitaCoco, which is available as a sparkling beverage if you’re trying to satisfy a soda craving. (Maybe David Datuna should stock up on this stuff if sweet, tropical flavors are his chronic weakness.)

Coffee: More Budget-Savvy than a $120,000 Banana

If you’re craving something warm, or if you’re dying for a hit of caffeine, coffee drinks can be good options. Caffeinated beverages are diuretics, but you can balance that by adding milk or drinking your java over ice. There are some healthy hot drinks on the menu at coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ if you know what to order. Skip the whipped cream, choose skim, low-fat, or plant milk, and ask for artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Both Starbucks and Dunkin’ offer sugar-free syrups in popular flavors like vanilla (for less than you paid for college).

Coffee isn't necessarily a healthy drink, but you can try one of these options besides water.
Craving for a Warm Drink? Coffee is a Good Option (Image Source: Pexels)

If you’re brewing at home, you might try one of the new protein-infused coffee varieties to help keep you fuller. Lighten it up with a low-fat, organic coffee creamer in place of the corn syrup-based stuff for an all-around win. 

While coffee drinks can be part of a healthy diet, it’s never good to overdo it. If you’re trying to cut back on caffeine or stop drinking coffee all day, decaf tea is an excellent alternative. You can drink it hot or iced, dilute it with water or milk, and sweeten it with a sugar alternative. If a traditional strong black brew isn’t your, well, cup of tea, try a green or herbal tea variety like chamomile. (Note that if you’re pregnant, you should get the OK from your doctor before consuming any herbal products. Some are unsafe for baby and you.) 

Cocktails for Calorie Counters

It can be hard not to chuck your smart nutrition plan out the window when you hit the bar. Fruity cocktails are full of sugar, and those calories add up quickly. That’s especially true if you’re a bit more relaxed than usual and not really paying attention. Fortunately, you can order (somewhat) healthy cocktails by asking for seltzer or a splash of lemon in place of soda or juice. Or, if you’re dying for a super-sweet drink or two, alternate your beverages with glasses of water or seltzer. (This will also keep you from getting deeply intoxicated and ripping any decorative fruits off the wall, let’s hope.)

Besides water, you can try some of these cocktails
Try These Cocktails for Calorie Counters (Image Source: Pexels)

So there you have it: lots of delicious healthy drinks, besides water, for when you’re on the move. Because, remember, staying hydrated is a form of self-care. Need to pair your beverage with a super-portable snack? Try low-fat string cheese (mozzarella or cheddar), a protein bar, a small bag of nuts, or a piece of fruit. But, regardless of what you choose, I’d highly recommend buying your treat at a supermarket or health food store. Like I said, I can’t make any promises that the next artist will be as understanding as Maurizio Cattelan. 

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