Hot summer days beg for cool and refreshing drinks. It’s vital that you’re properly hydrated when the heat is blazing. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re thirsty until a big glass pitcher filled with water and lemon slices appears in front of you.
Unfortunately water isn’t always the choice people make to quench their thirst. Juices, pops, lattes and other high-sugar, calorie-empty drinks filled with artificial flavours — and even aspartame — are just too easily available.
What to avoid:
From sports drinks to juices, many store-bought beverages are full of artificial dyes and other preservatives. Choose drinks that are 100-percent natural and made with real fruit (or use your own fruit purees).
2. Fizzy pops
Not only are they filled with calories and syrups, but these drinks can actually dehydrate you. Choose filtered, flat or spring water instead, and add in mint or ginger for something refreshing and different.
3. Added sugars such as glucose, fructose or corn syrup
These just mean empty calories. Use natural sweeteners if necessary, such as honey, maple syrup or those from fruit.
4. Cream or milk-based beverages
These drinks are loaded with fat and sugar. If you’re craving something thick and creamy, make a smoothie (try this chocolate peanut butter recipe) or buy one made with natural ingredients.
A few reasons to make your drinks yourself
1. Homemade beverages are refreshing and easy to make, and they can be kept in your fridge.
2. These drinks will be full of natural ingredients and flavours, like mint, lemon, honey and ginger (all of which are great for your health too!).
3. When added to water, sliced fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes make an amazingly simple drink. You can even put a slice into your water bottle for when you are on the go.
If you want a healthy beverage option on hand, you can use just a few simple ingredients like my pink ginger lemonade recipe below:
2 tbsp fresh raspberries or strawberries
2 cups water
½ tsp ginger, minced
1 lemon freshly squeezed
Pinch sea salt
1 tbsp raw honey
1. Soak berries and ginger for 4-8 hours in 2 cups of pure or filtered water.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Read more: 5 reasons you should eat more strawberries
Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy is stemmed around whole foods. She is dedicated to providing balanced lifestyle choices through natural foods. Using passion and experience, she strives to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.