Drinking lots of water during hot summer days is essential if you want to stay hydrated. It doesn’t take much for your body to work up a sweat when it’s hot outdoors, which is why you should drink water to replace lost fluids. However, guzzling bottles of water might not be your idea of a fun summer. Here are some low-calorie alternatives to get your hydration on.
1. Lemon WaterLemon water is a refreshing alternative to plain water. You can drink a glass early in the morning or throughout the day to aid digestion, boost colon health, reduce pain and inflammation in the joints, nourish brain and nerve cells, replenish body salts, maintain the body’s pH levels, and get your daily vitamin C requirements to increase immunity. To make the drink, simply mix a teaspoon or two of lemon juice into a glass of water or drop a few lemon slices into your water jug.
2. Fizzy Fruit Tea SodaTraditional soda drinks are loaded with sugar and calories, and most bottled juices are no different. Some fruit juices even contain more calories per ounce than soda. However, you can get the best of both worlds if you combine 100 percent fruit juice with sparkling water and your favorite herbal tea – make sure to chill the tea first.
3. Coconut WaterOne of the best ways to drink coconut water is right out of the young nut. However, accessibility and storage are not always feasible. Therefore, you’ll need to find an acceptable brand at your local supermarket. Look for the unflavored varieties so you’ll get the coconut water as close to natural as possible.
4. MilkMilk provides a lot of essential nutrients your body needs, but did you know it’s more hydrating than sugary sports drinks? Milk has a perfect balance of calcium, sodium, protein, and carbohydrates to get you through strenuous workouts and protect your bones, so drink up. For maximum hydration without the calories, stick to skim milk or non-dairy alternatives.
5. Iced TeaLemon iced tea is a summer favorite. However, you should skip the instant versions on the grocery shelves and make your own to reduce calories. Brew a batch of your favorite tea and chill. When you’re ready to serve, add ice, fresh mint, honey and a few lemon slices. Green tea is one of the best and healthiest teas to drink all summer long.
6. Iced CoffeeIced coffee drinks at your local coffeehouse might contain more calories than a box of chocolates, so it’s better to make your own. Pour low-fat milk, vanilla, and ice into a glass of coffee and raise a toast to summer. While it’s always better to drink a tea, a glass of iced coffee a day won’t harm your health.
7. SmoothiesA low-fat yogurt not only provides the calcium and active cultures your body needs, but it’s also a tasty summer drink when combined with fresh or frozen fruit. Summer fruits like strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, oranges, and grapefruit all have a high water content, so whip up a fruit smoothie or a green smoothie and replenish the fluids you’ve lost throughout the day.
8. LettuceLike watermelon and other water-rich fruit and vegetables, lettuce is not a drink, but it is 90 percent water and provides a low-calorie way to include more liquids in your diet. Apart from water, lettuce is a rich source of vitamins A, B, and C and heart healthy fiber. Eating lettuce regularly helps prevent some types of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
9. PopsiclesChildren cringe at the idea of drinking lots of water, but they love popsicles. Instead of the high-calorie options at the supermarket, use fresh juice to make your own popsicles and keep your freezer stocked all summer long. Making popsicles at home is easy and budget-friends. Berry popsicles are low in calories, high in antioxidants, and they are incredibly delicious.
10. WatermelonWith 92 percent water, watermelon is an excellent way to stay hydrated and satisfy your sweet cravings. Make a fruit bowl out of a watermelon or take a few cold slices in your cooler when you head to the beach. Frozen watermelon makes great smoothies the entire family will enjoy. Fresh watermelon juice is also a great, low calorie alternative to water.
Summer is a month away, but it’s best to think of the most delicious ways to stay hydrated during the hot season right now. Although these skinny, refreshing summer drinks and snacks are among the healthiest alternatives to plain water, it’s recommended to drink at least 4-5 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration. What’s your favorite substitute for water?