It's already shaping up to be a sizzling hot summer, and staying well-hydrated during these warmest of months is absolutely essential for your health and well-being. It's easy to want to quench your thirst with bottled iced teas, ice coffees from Starbucks, and those powdered lemonade mixes, but don't succumb to these sugar-laden brews! Most of these drinks are packed full of unhealthy sweetners, fat, and other scary ingredients that put your health (and waistline) at risk. Save money, generate less waste, and do your body a favor by mixing up one of these delicious, healthy alternatives that focus on hydration and flavor instead!
Homemade Ginger Ale
Most ginger ales that you’ll find at the grocery store are chock full of high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and “natural flavorings” that are anything but natural. If you love cooking with fresh ginger, you’ll be over the moon with this six ingredient ginger ale recipe from the Fearless Eating Blog. Just mix it and let it ferment on your kitchen counter for a few days. Then, add ice and enjoy!
Herb & Fruit Flavored Water
Why spend money on powders and mix-ins that are nothing more than sugar, when you could spice up your H20 with something much healthier? This guide from The Yummy Life shows how easy it can be to turn your garden herbs or fruit from the farmers’ market into refreshing beverages the whole family will enjoy!
Peppermint Iced Tea
This recipe from Kitchen Scoop recommends starting with black tea (regular or decaf) and adding peppermint extract for that extra kick of refreshing flavor. If you want to go even simpler, take a cue from this writer’s mom: just steep six bags of your favorite peppermint tea in a pitcher of hot water for around 30 minutes. Add your favorite natural sweetener, stir, and chill. Serve up over ice and enjoy!
Cucumber & Apple Juice
It sounds weird but hear us out: cucumber is full of water, Vitamin C, and has nutrients that are good for dry sky. Apples are chock full of antioxidants and other nutrients that can help mitigate Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. iDiva.com recommends that you run them through your own juicer, or blend chopped cucumbers and apples in a blender for a delicious, refreshing treat.
Strawberry Basil Soda
Thanks to Coke and Pepsi, carbonated beverages get a bad rap, but just because something’s bubbly doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. Case in point: this mouth-watering recipe from The Kitchn. The only questionable thing is the amount of sugar (a whole cup for 48 ounces of soda?!) but you can easily reduce or substitute a healthier sweetener.
Pomegranete Hibiscus Iced Tea
Besides having a gorgeous color, this unique blended tea recipe boasts some impressive health benefits. Studies have shown this tart tea to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, relieve depression, and yes, even flush fat from your system! Look for loose hibiscus tea at your favorite natural grocer, and then follow this recipe from Kitchen Daily.
Lead image via Shutterstock; drink images via websites mentioned.