Staying hydrated over the hot summer months is very important, but the thought of drinking nothing but water may fizzle your beverage sizzle. This summer, consider some yummy alternatives for staying hydrated while not overloading on sugar or caffeine. No matter your preferred tastes — teas, lemonades, fruit juices or flavored waters — you’re sure to find your next favorite drink from these eight beverage ideas to cool you off this summer.
1. Infused Water
What are your favorite fruit, veggie or spice flavors? With the purchase of an infusing pitcher or water bottle, you can add that flavor to water to remain hydrated while enjoying tastes you love. Consider fresh-cut fruit, slices of cucumber or crumbled mint leaves.
2. All-Natural Fruit Juices
You may love fruit juices — maybe you can’t get enough OJ — but not be a fan of how sugary some juices tend to be. But infusing fruits into your water may not provide the depth of flavor you desire. The next time you use the transportation we provide here at Autumn View Gardens to go shopping, browse the juice aisle and beverage coolers carefully to find bottles of all-natural juices with no added sugars. You can save on both sugar and calories while still getting the flavors you crave.
3. Sizzle Up a Regular Drink
Do you crave the bubbles of soda but want to avoid sugar and caffeine? Consider brewing up your own sizzle with a SodaStream or other at-home soda maker. You can use one of these devices to add bubbles to your water before putting in your own flavors or a variety of available syrups (many of them low-calorie, low-sugar or all-natural) to make your own healthy alternative to store-bought pop.
4. Skip the Alcohol, Not the Taste
You may fondly recall favorite summertime alcoholic beverages but need to avoid alcohol consumption for a variety of reasons. You can make virgin alternatives to your favorite drinks, including piña coladas, margaritas and martinis. The next time you’re at the store, look for drink mixes — but be sure to check their sugar contents before purchasing.
5. Even More Alcohol Alternatives
Going on the wagon for health, medication or dietary reasons can feel like a bummer, but you can trick your taste buds with even more nonalcoholic alternatives this summer. Like hard cider? Consider sparkling cider. A wine enthusiast? Try pomegranate juice if you’re into red wine and white grape juice as a substitute for white wine. Pour these alternatives into stemware to enhance your after-dinner beverage enjoyment.
6. Healthier Sweet Tea
You can’t deny the allure of sweet tea on a hot summer day — but your body simply may not be able to handle that onslaught of sugar any longer. Consider making your own sweet tea and swapping in stevia for sugar or using other alternatives like agave (use sparingly — it’s super sweet) or honey.
7. Lemonade Without the Pucker Face
Lemonade is arguably the most refreshing summer beverage besides pure spring water, but as your taste buds mature, the tartness of this drink may bring your pucker face out to play. Rather than avoiding lemonade because it completely lacks a sweetness factor, consider cutting it with a fruit juice, mixing it half and half with sweet tea or adding a sweetener. And while you may enjoy making lemonade from scratch, you can take some shortcuts this summer by using a premade mix that includes a sweetener.
8. Fresh, Ice-Cold Spring Water
Tons of bottled water options have flooded the market, so you can try different brands to find the fresh-from-the-spring source that really quenches your thirst. Pro tip: Freeze your bottled water and remove a few bottles each morning to put on your counter. By lunchtime, your bottle will have (mostly) thawed but still be ice-cold delicious.