Fresh and healthy ways to stay hydrated this summer

The warmer months are finally upon us. While ice cold soda from a can is very convenient, it is also very high in sugar and caffeine – two things you’re going to want to avoid on hot day.

Avoiding sugary drinks is especially important for the indigenous population, given our high probability for developing sugar-related health issues like diabetes and obesity. We compiled a few refreshing beverages here to help keep you hydrated and healthy Haudenosaunees.

Dehydration can occur very quickly in warmer temperatures when you are active. Even just an hour or two of gardening with no breaks for a drink on a warm and sunny day can tip the scales into the dry zone. Extreme thirst and dark urine are two indicators that you might be dehydrated.

The best option for rehydration is, of course, always water. On really warm days drinking a glass of water every hour is plenty to keep you sufficiently hydrated. However if you do find you are suffering from dehydration, try unsweetened coconut water instead of commercial rehydration solutions. It is sold in coolers and grocery stores quite commonly now – just make sure to check the label for any added sugars.

Infused Water

A really beautiful and refreshing drink that will impress guests is to serve infused water. The concept is so simple: fresh clean water that has fruits immersed in it. The fruits flavour the water and also add vitamins and minerals to your drink.

Cucumber water is very delicious and very popular in the summer. It’s quite easy to make. Simply peel and slice up one cucumber, add two quarts of fresh spring water and some ice, and let it sit for about an hour. That’s it! Along with being super tasty, cucumber water can give you a boost in vitamins A, C, B6 and Folic Acid. Not a fan of cucumbers? This is also really delicious to try with watermelon.

Iced Teas

This classic summer drink is pretty caffeinated. And caffeine is definitely something you’re going to want to avoid on hot days, as excessive caffeine can lead to dehydration, as well.

Additionally, if you’re reaching for a commercial brand iced tea, some are delivering as much as eight teaspoons of sugar per can. Why not try making your own?

Rooibos – or Honeybush Tea – comes from South America and is naturally caffeine-free. You can make Iced Rooibos Tea in the same way as you make regular tea – just swap out the black tea for rooibos. Boil one gallon of water and pour over six teabags. Let it steep for about four minutes, remove and discard the teabags. Then you can flavour the tea with whatever you like.

For an indigenous twist, try adding strawberries and a bit of maple syrup to sweeten it. Maple syrup has natural electrolytes that can help rehydrate you if you are using it in place of white sugar and other sweeteners.

Something bubbly

There’s just nothing like the refreshing feeling of an ice cold bubbly beverage on a hot afternoon, but it doesn’t always have to be soda. Sparkling water can be just as refreshing and convenient as a soda pop. There are plenty on the market now with flavours that range from raspberry-lime to pink grapefruit.

If you really want that sweet bubbly drink without the processed sugar, try making your own sparkling juice. Mix one half carbonated water with one half 100% fruit juice – like white grape or cranberry. Add ice and a few slices of fresh fruit for a very satisfying treat.

A Cold Brew

Beer is another go-to refresher on a hot day that carries a significant impact on blood sugar levels, as well as having dehydrating effects. A delicious non-alcoholic option is kombucha tea.

Kombucha, like beer, is a fermented beverage. While it does carry a low alcoholic content, it is not significant enough to impact hydration levels or get you drunk. However it does carry that satisfying tart and fermented flavour that a cold beer serves. Kombucha can be found bottled in health food stores everywhere in a variety of flavours.

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