Most of us aren’t drinking the requisite eight to 10 glasses of water a day (that’s about 64 ounces) – making 75% of us chronically dehydrated.
“Track your fluid intake for one week and see if you’re even close to what you need (a good starting point is half your body weight in ounces) and if what you’re drinking contains a ton of sugar and calories,” says nutritionist Laura Ligos, MBA, RDN, CSSD, at The Sassy Dietitian. “You might be surprised by your consumption.”
Ligos points out that a lot of her clients who are trying to eat healthier often forget to include what they drink.
“However, drinks do in fact count,” she says. “Sometimes they’re worse than not because they’re fast energy that your body metabolizes immediately and then jacks up your blood sugar (unnecessarily so) without adding any health benefits. While, sure, a drink may taste delicious do we really want to blow all of our health efforts on one drink?”
Dress Up Your Water
This summer, try saying no to sugar-laden drinks and try out some zero-calorie or low-cal thirst-quenching drinks.
Don’t worry! Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring.
Ever tried fruit- or veggie-infused water? It’s super-simple to make: Just choose your favorite fruits, veggies and herbs, chopped up, and immerse them in cold water.
Packed with flavor, infused water boasts zero calories, but keeps you hydrated, feeling fuller longer and helps fuel your warm-weather activities all day long.
And these drinks are easy to make: Select your ingredients, wash them thoroughly, chop them up, and then immerse them in water (up to a half-gallon or a cup at a time) for two to four hours.
A few summer faves we love:
- Slice up blood oranges, clementines, lemons and limes into a pitcher for a rainbow of delicious-looking and -tasting water.
- Combine watermelon chunks with springs of mint leaves for a classic summer combo.
- For natural lemonade, fill a 64-oz. pitcher two-thirds full with still water and one-third with sparkling. Squeeze the juice from six lemons into the pitcher, adding stevia and some lemon slices for garnish.
Ligos also suggests these other easy drink staples:
- Seltzer water. “Switch to seltzer without the sugar or calories.”
- Kombucha. “This is full of probiotics for your gut,” Ligos says. “But watch the sugar content, ideally less than 10 grams of carbs per serving.”
- Coffee. Hold the sugar, but say yes to a little cream.
- Unsweetened tea or iced tea. “Skip the sugar and enjoy the taste of tea,” Ligos says. “Bonus: You get a dose of healthy antioxidants.”
Yum! Strawberry Mojito Kombucha Spritzer
If you really want to get your summer on (hello, mocktails!), Ligos shares this refreshing recipe for Strawberry Mojito Kombucha Spritzer:
- One 16 oz. bottle of kombucha, preferably berry or plain
- 16 oz. seltzer water/club soda
- Four strawberries, stems removed
- One lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- In two large glasses, place half of your mint, lime juice and strawberries.
- Muddle strawberries in lime/mint with the back of a spoon.
- Add in 8 oz. kombucha to each glass and top with 8 ounces of seltzer.
- Mix with spoon and top with extra strawberries, mint and lime as desired.
- Add two to three ice cubes for a colder beverage, and then enjoy!