We all know how important hydration is to our health, especially in the summertime. Drinking enough water means that our body is properly lubricating our joints, regulating our body temperature, and moving waste through the body.
It can be tempting to quench your thirst with soda or beer, but this, of course, is counterproductive. Yes, water isn’t very interesting, and if it comes from the tap it might have a foul taste. But you can salvage your water with a few flavorful and healthy additions. Read our suggestions below and see if they satisfy your taste buds while also keeping the body functioning at its best all summer.
Healthy Additions to Water
Adding a wedge of fruit is a classic way to flavor a glass of water. In fact, some people swear that lemon water is even more hydrating than water straight from the tap. Regardless, a squeeze of lemon or lime can add flavor to your water. For sparkling water, go heavy on the citrus for a familiar soda feel and taste in the mouth
Citrus wedges are not all you can do with fruit to add flavor to your beverage. Crush fruit and let it soak for just a short while before serving (fruit will spoil and the natural sugars will attract bacteria, so serve immediately). Adding some strawberry slices, blueberries, or raspberries add a lot of flavor and a bit of fun when you drain your glass and get to munch on the little fruit bits!
Some even more creative ideas include adding a bit of unsweetened juice to your water. Cranberry juice is incredibly healthy and can give you big bang for your buck. Some people like to freeze unsweetened juice in their ice cube tray to cool and flavor their water. Another creative idea involves freezing small citrus fruits like clementines and using them as ice cubes.
Some people love the aroma and flavor of herbs. Rosemary, basil, anise, lavender, whatever herb speaks to you, is worth a try. But if you are not committed to the natural route, powdered mixes are also an option; despite being loaded with sweeteners, they are better than soda!
Speaking of soft drinks, if you can’t beat that craving, add a dash of diet soda to your glass of water. Who knows, it may be enough to satisfy your craving. If you find it’s the bubbles you crave, try sparkling water. If the taste or bubble are too strong, cut it with tap water.
Don’t want to make your own? Popular brands like LaCroix package sparkling water with a large selection of different fruity flavors from real fruit.
Healthy Additions to Coffee and Tea
While working slightly against your hydrating efforts, coffee and tea are a healthy option in reasonable doses. It’s the cream, sugar, and chemicals in flavored syrup that will work against your health. Thankfully there are quite a few guilt-free options you can use to spice up your cup of java.
Fittingly enough, this begins with real spices. One of the most common spices people like to add to their coffee is cinnamon. But we’re not talking about your cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks here! Real cinnamon contains antioxidants, manganese, iron, and calcium that can bolster your immune system and may even ward off colds. For a more unique flavor profile, the Middle-eastern spice, cardamon, is an option to add mystique and fiber ot your coffee. But if you really want to spice it up, cayenne pepper not only adds heat but is known to improve circulation.
If you love vanilla lattes, you don’t have to give up vanilla altogether to be healthy. Putting a fresh vanilla bean in your coffee grounds before brewing can be a rewarding and aromatic addition to your morning cup of coffee. Sure, vanilla flavored coffee grounds can be store bought, but you may find that companies use additives to make the vanilla flavor more distinct or aromatic. You want fresh vanilla because it contains beneficial compounds that may support mental performance, a good mood, and limber joints.
And the list goes on. If you just have to have that creamy texture in your coffee, consider adding coconut milk. This is an especially good choice for individuals who are lactose intolerant. Coconut milk contains good fats and vitamins that support healthy bones, teeth, and more.
If you prefer tea, follow all of the suggestions above for similar results.
See, with a bit of creativity, you can open up your options for summer beverages. Spices, herbs, and fruit not only add flavor but give your drink an extra health kick. Make sure you’re staying healthy and energetic to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts.