Thirst Quenchers For Sweat and Sun
Thirst quenchers are what you need when the heat’s on! We have some easy, refreshing thirst quenchers free of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and colors. They will help you hydrate for sunny and sweaty days.
Why Not Drink Soda and Sports Drinks as Thirst Quenchers?
We all love soda. It’s sweet, cheap, and convenient. But Irina Todorov, a Wellness and Preventative Medicine Physician with the Cleveland Clinic, points out that our number one killer, heart disease, is highly associated with sugary beverages. “The more regular soda cans per day we drink, the more likely we are to die from heart disease,” says Dr. Todorov.
So, what about diet soda as a thirst quencher? Truthfully, it’s just as bad. Penn Medicine reports that zero-calorie sodas actually cause more weight gain than regular soda, and increase your risk for diabetes and stroke by as much as 50%.
As for electrolyte-containing sports drinks, their sugar concentration can actually block your efforts to hydrate, according to this study.
What’s a Thirsty Soul to Do?
Since your body is primarily made up of water, the obvious way to slake your thirst is to drink water. US News reports that if you are resting, you need to drink half your body weight in ounces. But exercise and extra weight can increase that baseline requirement, as explained in this article. Therefore, you may need 12 glasses or more per day, instead of the 6-8 you’re consuming.
However, plain water is just not as tasty or exciting as other thirst quenchers on the market, right? Don’t worry, there are many ways to get water without actually drinking it!
- Puree a seedless watermelon, and pour the liquid into popsicle molds to freeze. Then you can suck your hydration!
- Drink cucumber juice, spiked with fresh, crushed mint leaves. Cucumbers are 90% water and have a much lower sugar content than fruits. (As stated above, sugar can inhibit hydration.) The mint increases flavor appeal and has a cooling quality.
- Slurp a broth-based soup, such as this tasty summer gazpacho. Bone broth is high in electrolytes. Therefore you are less likely to urinate off its water content. Electrolytes help you retain water for cellular hydration.
- Swap out some of your carbs for vegetables. Since highly processed foods are less than 10% water, and yet vegetables are upwards of 80% water, you can hydrate by making some simple sustitutions. Snack on carrots, not crackers. Use spiralized vegetables, such as squash or zucchini, in place of pasta. Satisfy your cravings with sweet, juicy grapes instead of cookies. Crunch on celery instead of chips.
- Eat more salads. Lettuce, spinach, and cabbage are among the top water-containing vegetables.
- Sip coconut water. High in electrolytes, coconut water also has higher water content than fruit juices. It is healthier than most sports drinks, because it contains no added sugars and no artificial flavors or colors.
But I Want Fizzy Thirst Quenchers!
That’s easy, too! Flavor a bottle of sparkling mineral water, such as Gerolsteiner or Pellegrino, with a splash of citrus juice for a Hollywood spritzer. Or try my favorite technique: drop a fruit-flavored herbal tea bag into the mineral water and let it cold-infuse. If your beverage is not sweet enough, you can add powdered glycine, a sweet-tasting amino acid.
Even simpler, just buy a bottle of kombucha. It’s not only a good thirst quencher, it’s probiotic profile is good for your gut, too.
But if you’re still craving a true soda, you can drink stevia-sweetened Zevia, then dilute it over time with sparkling water.
For that evening social, the birthday party, the family reunion, or the date at the pool, you can still hydrate in a healthy way.
Strawberry Milkshake for 2
Romantic and refreshing
- 1/2 pound strawberries
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 2 Tb. coconut butter
- 2 Tb. collagen power or plant-based protein powder
- 8 ice cubes
Blend until creamy. Pour into glasses and serve with straws.
Low-sugar and appealing
- 1/2 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1 3/4 c. water, divided
- 1 1/2 c. frozen fruit, such as watermelon or raspberries
Combine the lemon juice, honey, and 1/4 cup of the water in a small saucepan and warm slightly until honey dissolves. Blend with remaining water (ice cold) and frozen fruit. Strain if desired. Makes 1 quart.