The One Beverage to Avoid in the Summer

Happy Hour will never be the same.

As the warmer weather hits, two interesting things happen simultaneously: clothes get smaller, and drinks get bigger. And while most summer drinks, from the occasional lemonade to refreshing wine spritzers, can be safely enjoyed in moderation,  there's one summer staple that's been stabbing you in the back all of these years: the margarita.

Mixed drinks are an unpredictable genre to begin with, ranging from the relatively low-calorie vodka soda to a diet-ruining Long Island iced tea, which packs 275 calories per 8-ounce pour.

However, heartbreaking as it is to admit it, the frozen margarita remains the worst offender. The number of calories in a single frozen margarita can range from a "reasonable" 290 to a whopping 900 calories, depending on the size of the drink and the mix used to make it.

On the subject of mix, most frozen margaritas aren't made by somebody painstakingly squeezing a bunch of lemons and limes and adding a splash of simple syrup. Rather, frozen margarita mixes are laden with high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, and preservatives. Sadly, the downsides don't end there. Depending on the size of the glass your margarita comes in, the rim of a single drink could deliver half a teaspoon of salt, which means one frozen marg could contain more than half your daily recommended amount of sodium. And over time, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke.

On top of the added calories and sodium, alcohol itself has several negative health effects, including damage to the heart, liver, and pancreas, a lowered immune system, and worse sleep. Regular alcohol consumption also increases a person's risk of several types of cancer.

Luckily, there's still some light at the end of that dark, margarita-free tunnel. While frozen margaritas might be calorie bombs seeking to destroy your heart, liver, and pancreas, that doesn't mean these summer staples have to be off the menu forever. You can always make a margarita from scratch with fresh lime juice, just a splash of triple sec, and a shot of tequila, forgoing the salt and huge amount of sugar in the traditional frozen variety. And if you want more incentive to cut back on drinking, This Stunning Weight Loss Photo Will Inspire You to Curb Your Booze Consumption.

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