Staying well hydrated is important year-round, but it's even more crucial in the summer when you sweat more. Keep in mind that beverages don't fill you up and can be high in sugar (making them empty calories), so watch your serving sizes, or you may experience sugar highs followed by the crash and burn.
The most diet-friendly option, calorie-free water is what you should aim to drink most of the time to stay hydrated. If plain water is not satisfying for you, try carbonated water so you get some fizz (squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into it for a dash of flavour). Or keep a pitcher of it handy and throw in slices of cucumber (you'll feel like you're on a spa getaway — they always seem to serve cucumber water!) or berries to naturally infuse it with some flavour.
Rather than buy iced tea, which can be loaded with sugar, why not brew your own from scratch? This way, you can use your favourite variety of tea and sweeten it to your liking. To make iced tea, put your sugar in your pitcher and fill halfway. Then boil water and steep the tea to make half a pitcher's worth of tea. Once the tea has steeped to the strength you prefer, add it to the pitcher, stir and let chill.
Take advantage of all the wonderful berries and fruits that are in season now, and throw them into your blender to whip up some delicious smoothies. The fruit is so naturally sweet, you won't have to add any sugar at all. For ideas on making smoothies more healthy, check out this article on smoothie smarts.
What is more quintessentially summer than lemonade? And while squeezing fresh lemons can be a lot of work, the tart and tangy results are so worth the effort. To make a batch of fresh lemonade, squeeze 2 cups of lemon juice. Dissolve 2 cups of sugar into 1 cup of hot water (the heat will help the sugar dissolve faster), then add your 2 cups of fresh lemon juice and 16 cups of cold water. Chill in the fridge. Dress it up with some sprigs of mint, and serve.
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