Stay hydrated with these low-sugar, booze-free drinks.
At a summer get-together, you can often expect to find plenty of beverages to sip on, from cans of root beer to pitchers of mojitos. After all, alcohol and sugary beverages can be a delicious way to feel refreshed as the sun beats down on you. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to limit your alcohol or sugar intake, you might feel "stuck" with water.
Water's great, and it's essential for good health. However, water can feel underwhelming on special occasions, when you're in the mood for something a little more special.
One refreshing option that improves hydration and reduces your sugar intake (compared to juices, sodas, and cocktails) is fruit-infused iced teas. By infusing the tea with fresh fruits, you'll add flavor and sweetness. This way, you can cut back on added sugar.
You’ve heard of lemon iced tea and peach iced tea, but these clever iced tea ideas go a step further:
1. Watermelon iced tea
What says “summer” more than watermelon? To really make it sing, add fresh mint leaves and a bright squeeze of lemon juice.
While most iced tea recipes use standard black tea bags, this recipe actually uses oolong, a traditional Chinese tea.
2. Berry hibiscus iced tea
Hibiscus tea is basically dried hibiscus flower petals steeped in hot water, creating a vibrant magenta brew. As for flavor, hibiscus is surprisingly fruity, so it’s complemented well with berries. (Bonus: It’s a naturally decaf iced tea.)
3. Lemon earl grey iced tea
If you love lemon iced tea but want something a little different, switch things up and try it with earl grey tea. Earl grey is a type of black tea with a subtle hint of bergamot oil, which comes from the rind of bergamot oranges. As a result, earl grey has an ever-so-slight hint of citrus to it, so it pairs well with lemon.
4. Mango iced tea
If you want to stick with the traditional black tea, this one’s for you. Mango has a punch of tropical flavor with a lot of natural sweetness, so you can really cut back on added sugar.
5. Ginger peach iced tea
Peach iced tea is already a beloved classic, and the added ginger gives this iced tea a pow with every sip. Plus, fresh ginger can help soothe tummy troubles. (Sugary ginger ale often just has added “ginger flavor” and is not actually that effective at relieving nausea.)
6. Pineapple mint iced tea
Pineapple and mint are a beautiful fruit-herb combo. In fact, you might even say they were mint to be (sorry).
Instead of using black tea to make this iced tea, you can actually just brew fresh mint leaves. That means it’s naturally decaf, and peppermint leaf tea is commonly used to relieve upset stomach.
Let’s put it this way: If you want a fun and flavorful summer drink, all you need is a little creativi-tea. Oh, and if tea isn’t your thing, here are fruit-infused waters you’ll love.
- Dehydration and heat stroke. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Medicine. (Accessed on June 2, 2020)
- Ginger. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2016. (Accessed on June 2, 2020)
- Hydrate right. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on June 2, 2020)
- The health benefits of tea. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020. (Accessed on June 2, 2020)
- What can I drink? Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association. (Accessed on June 2, 2020)