It’s summer. It’s hot. And chances are, you’re thirsty. We know drinking water can be boring, but we also know that sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. A 20-ounce soda, for example, contains between 15 to 18 teaspoons of added sugar. Even a lemonade or sweet tea packs in 25-plus grams of sugar in just 8 ounces.
Fortunately, when it comes to hydration and choosing between something sweet vs. plain water, there are few healthy options to consider.
Get a little artsy with this one. You can make fun ice cubes by freezing berry purees, fresh herbs, and slices of citrus. Place a small amount of berries and herbs in an ice cube tray, fill with water, and freeze. As the cubes melt in your water, they slowly release new flavors.
Freeze fresh fruit or buy it frozen — either way, adding frozen fruit chunks instead of ice to water is another smart flavor enhancer. It keeps your drink chilled and offers a healthy snack at the end.
Muddled Fruit & Herbs
One of the best ways to release flavor from berries and herbs is to muddle them together before adding them to water or club soda. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle to muddle, just use the end of a wooden spoon to mash the berries and herbs together. Try strawberry and fresh basil or blueberry and fresh mint.
For convenience sake, there are endless options of low-calorie flavored drinks on the shelf. Look for one that offers the same antioxidants you would get from fruit. Core Organic has an organic line of five-calorie drinks that contain the same amount of antioxidants as a 1/2 cup of blackberries or cherries.
Dilute Sugary Drinks
If juice is a must in your household, choose 100 percent fruit juice, and try diluting it with water or club soda to cut down on sugar. Squeezing fresh citrus juice such as lemon or lime into your mix will help bring out the flavors.