[Healthy Drinks] 7 Healthy And Refreshing Summer Drinks (Instead Of Soda)
When summer temperatures start soaring, a healthy drink plan is your best bet for staying cool and fully hydrated.
Sodas and energy drinks are out. Their excessive sugars, additives, fats and caffeine are the source of way too many evils: weight gain, diabetes, bad skin, you name it.
Plus, there are amazing soda alternatives out there that are super refreshing while also being easy-to-prepare and, above all, healthy drinks to drink daily.
Here is our list of the 7 most refreshing, healthy, everyday go-to drinks instead of soda, so you stay cool, hydrated and refreshed from the inside out while battling the summer heat.
1. Sparkling Lemon Water (Zero-Calorie, Sugar-Free and Skin-Friendly)
We will not lie to you: some healthy drinks take a little more prep time or specialized equipment (think a juicing machine, for instance) than a soda you would take from the fridge and pop open. Lemon water is different. It is a low-hanging fruit, so to speak.
Lemon water takes exactly 30 seconds to prepare (cut open your lemon and squeeze it fresh into your water glass or better even pitcher of sparkling water). Rarely, does so much goodness come at so little a price.
Lemon water is a fabulous source of hydration and packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C does not only boost your immune system, but it stimulates the production of collagen, a vital structural skin protein known for making your skin glow.
Given lemon water's skin benefits, its exceptionally good cost-value ratio and its energizing tart-freshness, we are sold. This is our go-to summer refreshment!
2. Iced Hibiscus Tea (a Better Than Botox Skin Care Summer Drink)
If you had to pack for a remote island vacation this summer and only had space for one single healthy and refreshing everyday go-to drink, hibiscus tea should be it.
Iced hibiscus tea with its tart-fruity flavor is the perfect cool-down drink to enjoy in your remote island's natural jacuzzi.
Hibiscus also keeps you hydrated and moisturized from the inside out thanks to its high water content and its omega-3 fatty acids.
Those healthy fats act as an important lubricant inside your body, from your brain down to your skin. Their moisture literally has your skin glow.
3. A Freshly Squeezed Green Juice (Contains Your Vitamins for the Whole Day)
Freshly-squeezed juices are a great alternative to sodas and unhealthy, sugary drinks – provided you make your juice more about the greens and less about the fruit.
70%-80% of your juice should be dark leafy greens and vegetables to cut down on fruits' high dextrose (fruit sugar) content.
A seasoned juicer and dietitian once gave us this simple, but valuable advice: make sure to adjust your juicer's strainer to let some of the pulp come through.
It is very rich in dietary fibre which is super important for a healthy digestion. It also slows down the rate at which your system absorbs sugar from your food and drink, thus helping manage your blood sugar levels.
What better way to enjoy the dense nutrient power of kale, celery, carrot, cucumber and lemon all in one convenient, green superdrink?
Making fresh, natural juices out of organic vegetables and other superfoods is indeed a very easy way to take in a great portion of your daily recommended vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Plus, healthy juices hold other powerful benefits including:
anti-inflammatory compounds which help boost your immune system, in particular during flu season.
the ability to cleanse and aid your body in flushing out toxins.
the ability to lose weight as part of an overall low-calorie diet.
So, if you feel the summer is high time to step up your healthy drinks game, here is one of our favourite go-to green superfood juice recipes.
Remove rinds and rinse thoroughly, then chop before adding the following into the juicer:
1 cup kale (or alternatively: spinach)
2 celery stalks
1 pear (or alternatively: apple)
1/2 inch freshly grated ginger
1/2 inch freshly grated turmeric (optional)
1 cup filtered water
5 ice cubes
4. Fresh Peppermint Tea (Herbal Productivity Booster)
Have you been to Morocco recently? They are obsessed with fresh mint tea and have a fairly theatrical way of pouring it, too.
For peppermint aficionados, it probably comes as no surprise that mint tea is not a secret any longer.
Mint is one of the most consumed herbal teas in the world. Talk about social proof.
And that is for a reason. Whether you prefer it hot or iced, peppermint is the epitome of a 100% natural, 100% healthy easy-to-make summer beverage to drink daily.
On top of its refreshing taste, peppermint tea is good for you as it induces mental alertness, improving memory retrieval and brain function (also making it a great zero-caffeine alternative to coffee).
Plus, peppermint tea is a very gut-friendly drink. When made fresh from the herb, it is a well-known natural remedy for soothing indigestion. Go peppermint!
5. Sparkling Water (Fizzy, Chilled, Condensed Hydration Power)
Have you tried sparkling water recently? It’s bubbly fizz is fun, it is zero-calorie, sugar-free and obviously the perfect source of healthy hydration.
If that wasn't enough, sparkling water features impressive health benefits, including:
Water ensures that your cells receive the steady supply with oxygen and nutrients they need to thrive.
Water helps your system detoxify, carrying waste out of your body.
Water regulates your internal body temperature through the process of sweat production and evaporation (not a small feat on a 100 degree F summer day).
Water also lubricates your joints, cushions your vital organs, increases your metabolism and burns calories (yes, that is right, water is an awesome weight loss drink that works fast).
If you feel that sparkling water is a little too plain for you, upgrade it by tossing in one of these very refreshing and healthy additions (always either peeling it or washing the rind thoroughly before):
fresh mint leaves
sliced fresh ginger.
That nicest thing about sparkling water is that you no longer have to haul heavy gallons of it up your 5th floor walk-up apartment these days.
Instead, invest little money in a sodastream that turns tab water into a super refreshing sparkling treat. It's cheap and good for the environment (think about all the plastic bottles that do not end up in the landfill thanks to that).
6. Superfood-Based Healthy Smoothie (Pure Green Goodness)
Healthy smoothies are true superdrinks. Made from fresh and organic vegetables and fruits, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Healthy smoothies are great sources of both water and dietary fibre whose praises – including better hydration, digestion and satiety – we like to sing.
With fresh smoothies, you are getting the best of all worlds (health benefits and taste) when following the same 70/30 veggie to fruit ratio as with healthy juices.
Healthy smoothies are fun to make, rebuilding your appreciation for 100% natural, seasonal and fresh ingredients.
Plus, healthy smoothies are a tasty and fantastic way to load up on greens, veggies, seeds, nuts and other superfoods you would otherwise not incorporate into your diet.
If you could use a little smoothie making 101 guidance on how to make a super healthy and yummy smoothie in your very own kitchen, check out our guide.
7. Iced Unsweetened Matcha Latte (That Zen Monks Use to Focus)
Matcha green tea is a winner, on all levels. Brewed first in the 12th century by Buddhist Zen Monks to help them achieve a state of calm and focus, matcha is the perfect drink for anyone doing creative or intellectual work.
Matcha's killer combination of stimulation (it contains 1/3 of the caffeine coffee has) and relaxation (matcha's amino acid l-theanine stimulates anxiety-reducing alpha waves in your brain) makes it the daily go-to option for students, creatives and intellectual workers alike.
When you add a little milk and ice to it, your matcha green tea turns into a frothy and cooling matcha latte delight.
What is best about an iced unsweetened matcha latte made in your own kitchen is that it looks like a total treat and it tastes like one, too, without at the same time being the unhealthy calorie and sugar bomb most chain coffee shops sell.
Since matcha powder is made of actual green tea leaves, you consume 100% pure green tea goodness in your matcha, which makes matcha tea 10 times more nutritious than any regular green tea.
So, if you are looking for a cool summer drink that checks all the boxes, it's time to make your own matcha latte.