Staying well hydrated is important year round, but it’s especially critical in the hot summer months. While it’s tempting to turn to sodas, lemonade, sweetened iced tea and fruit juice when you get thirsty, keep in mind that these drinks are full of sugar and can quickly pack on the calories. So what’s the alternative to plain old water?
Try experimenting with these tasty, refreshing and naturally low-calorie thirst-quenchers:
Homemade flavored water or seltzer
Simply squeezing or slicing fresh lemon, lime or orange into your glass can do the trick. Or, plan ahead and steep various combinations in a pitcher in the fridge for at least 4 hours, then strain out the solids.
- Sliced cucumber, 1 inch fresh gingerroot, ½ cup fresh mint
- Half a sliced pink grapefruit (including peel), ½ cup fresh mint
- 1 cup diced fresh cantaloupe or watermelon, squeezed fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup diced frozen fruit
- 1 to 2 ounces cranberry or pomegranate juice with fresh lemon or lime
Unsweetened iced tea
Try using black, green, herbal or chai tea for a boost of flavor.
Adding a teaspoon of sugar or honey adds only about 15 calories to the cup.
Experiment with mint, lemon slices, orange slices, or ginger.
Low sodium tomato juice
A good source of vitamins A and C, it has only 40 calories per cup. Squeeze in some lemon or lime for extra kick.
Fresh fruit coolers
With no added sugar and just a small amount of fruit, this blended fruit drink has only about 18 calories for each 12-ounce glass. Just blend and serve:
- 1/2 cup ice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup melon or berries, or other fruit of choice
- Chopped mint leaves or peeled citrus slices
Aim to have six to eight cups of fluids a day, or more if you are exercising.
Find more great ideas for summer eats and drinks in our recipe library.