By Alexandra Treloar

IT can be relatively easy to determine what foods are good for us and what are not, but drinks can be a little more deceptive, and marketing has a lot to do with it.

Drinks from the supermarket, health food stores and cafes may be branded as ‘healthy’ but most of the time can be loaded with calories, caffeine, sugar and chemicals.

The best drink is obviously water, so don’t fall for the trap of buying a drink that might sound like a healthy alternative, but is really just as bad as a soft drink.

A good rule of thumb to go by is if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the back of a drink, or the sugar content is more than 5g per 100ml, chances are it’s junk.

Swap iced tea for green tea: Iced tea is one of the most sneakiest of drinks. Most brands claim to have lots of health benefits, like ‘antioxidants’ and ‘vitamins’ but really they are just as bad, if not worse than a soft drink.

Green tea on the other hand, has tonnes of benefits for your health. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being loaded with real antioxidants.

Swap fruit juice for kombucha: Kombucha is fermented tea. It is a fizzy drink that is full of probiotics that promotes good gut health. Kombucha is usually sweet, fruity and comes in a variety of flavours, making it a great substitute for fruit juice or soft drink. The thing with fruit juice is that it is highly concentrated and doesn’t contain any fibre – the good stuff. Fruit should be eaten as a whole to get the most benefits.

Swap morning coffee for lemon water: An oldie but a goodie. Don’t underestimate the benefits of warm lemon water. Drinking this on an empty stomach supports the digestive process, making it easier for the body to process food throughout the day.

Swap hot chocolate for… hot chocolate! Instead of using regular cocoa and refined sugar, make a healthier hot chocolate out of one of the world’s best superfoods. Raw cacao has seven times more antioxidants than dark chocolate and 21 times more antioxidants than green tea.

It contains high levels of magnesium, potassium, protein, iron and calcium. If you like sweet hot chocolates, use stevia as a sugar alternative.

Swap a milkshake for a smoothie: Smoothies are a great alternative to a milkshake and won’t leave you feeling sluggish afterwards.

But while they are a healthier option, be careful not to overdo it with fruit and natural sweeteners.

Try this salted caramel smoothie recipe that will satisfy your cravings but is also full of benefits that will keep your insides singing all day!