Summer means hot sunny days, barbecues, pool parties and scenic hikes. It often happens that we get so caught up in enjoying the season in all its hydration-zapping glory, that we forget to drink water–especially if we’re indulging in some adult beverages. We’re never drinking enough water to appease nutritionists anyway, and the heat/alcohol/physical activity combo that most summers promise is a disaster for our hydration. How can we be expected to stay hydrated when it seems almost impossible?
First of all, staying hydrated doesn’t mean sucking back bottle after bottle of water. There are a tonne of ways to spice it up so getting your H2O doesn’t feel like a chore. We’ve put together a few fun drinks and helpful tips for combating that summer dehydration without making it seem like work. (Plus, feel free to add booze to any of the following, we won’t tell).
Caffeine can contribute to dehydration because of its diuretic effect (it makes you have to pee). Both green and black teas have caffeine so while a glass of iced tea might seem refreshing, it’s not really as hydrating as we would like it to be. Try a berry, ginger or peppermint tea instead. Those are caffeine-free and have the bonus of added nutrients from the other ingredients.
Speaking of added nutrients, that’s exactly what you can get from dropping lemon or cucumbers in your water for a little flavour. Leave your ingredients in a pitcher of water over night or drop them in right before serving for a lighter taste. You can also try less traditional add-ins like other citrus fruits, mint, berries, melon or any other fruit (or veggie) you think might taste good in your water. So refreshing!
Sparkling water and fruit
If you love your coolers and don’t want to give up fizzy drinks for the summer, try the same infusing method, but with sparkling water instead. You could also add fruit juice to some sparkling water or even a little dollop of fruit puree. Basically, ‘add fruit’ is the theme of the day.
Chia seed energy drink
Fun fact: chia seeds are super good for you. With just chia seeds and coconut water, you can make a energy drink to keep you hydrated and electrolyted all day long (well, maybe not all day). Let about two tablespoons of chia seeds sit overnight in some water, then add coconut water, fruit and sweetener to taste. The texture of the drink may be off-putting so judge your chia to water ratio according to preference. You could also muddle in some fruit for flavour or leave it whole for a little treat at the end.
A note on sweetners
It’s easy to just throw white sugar in a drink that just needs a little kick of sweetness. Before you add the refined stuff, there are a few other options you could consider to add that sweet finishing touch. You could try stevia, agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar or honey for that boost instead.
Make it fun
Who said you had to drink water in a boring old cup or water bottle? Jazz it up by drinking out of something fun. Mason jars are pretty much the cutest and most versatile thing out there. Serve your fancy infused water (or even just regular water) in one of those. You could get a colourful patterned straw to sip on (and distinguish people’s drinks if you’re having a party). Plus, if you’re planning on drinking fruit-infused water regularly, you might want to invest in a cup like this, with a little basket to contain your ingredients.
Get an added boost from food
Yes, we know we should be drinking more water, but it’s a good idea to get a little hydration boost from your food too. Fruits like berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapples and citrus have a high water content. So do vegetables like celery, green peppers, iceburg lettuce and spinach.