5 Beverages You Should Be Drinking This Summer

May 24, 2012 9:59 AM EDT | By Amanda Remling
Ice Tea
Stay hydrated this summer with ice tea. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Summer is almost upon us, and so is the need to stay constantly hydrated. We all know that water is a necessity, but take a look at four other beverages you should be drinking this season.

Water

Surprise! You should always be drinking water to stay hydrated. Besides keeping you hydrated though, water also help keep you cool, something you will definitely be grateful for in the summer months.

Drinking a glass of water before and after a meal can also help to curb hunger...perfect for the swimsuit season.

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Afraid that you aren't getting enough water to keep you hydrated during the summer months? The Huffington Post suggests pouring the proper serving size (eight ouces) into your favorite cup. "Now you know your serving size," the site states, and you are more likely to have the proper intake of water.

Grapefruit Juice

Pink and ruby red grapefruit juice isn't just delicious. The fruit juice contains lycopene, which protects exposed skin from UV rays. While you can't drop the sun block just yet, isn't it nice knowing that you have some back up protection?

According to the Huffington Post, grapefruit juice is the number one fruit juice in nutrient density, meaning that when you drink eight ounces of 100% grapefruit juice, you are taking in less than 100 calories. You are also sucking in antioxidants like vitamins A and C.

To check out a full list of grapefruit juice health benefits (like helping with insomnia and reducing fever), check out juicing-for-health.com.

Sports Drink

When being active over the summer, staying hydrated is the key to staying healthy. In the past many believed that it was beneficial to use either sports drinks or water to rehydrate. Due to new studies, we have learned that the most beneficial choice of hydration stems from drinking sports drinks instead of water during activities.

The USA Track & Field's hydration guidelines prior to 2003 states that water or sports drinks were suitable choices for hydration during "intense physical activity," states Active.com. Since new findings though, the USATF has now revised their hydration guidelines, stating that a "sports drink with sodium and other electrolytes is preferred."

The concern with drinking water when involved in physical activity is the risk of blood sodium dilution. Sports drinks contain dissolved minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphate. These minerals are absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream than water. According to Active.com, the electrolytes in sports drinks also help regulate fluid in the body as well.

Water is okay to use when involved in easy to moderate physical activity during short workouts.

Caffeine-Free Beverages

Due to caffeine's ability to increase urine production, it's important to realize that drinking beverages high in caffeine can be dehydrating. While drinking beverages with caffeine can increase periods of working out, you don't want to overdo it.

"The best use of caffeine as an ergogenic aid [energy booster] is prior to competition," explains Jose Antonio, Ph.D., author of Supplements for Endurance Athletes. "The beneficial effects of caffeine on athletic performance are reduced with habituation, so the more often you rely on it, the less it will do for you."

Green and Black Tea

Delicious and nutritious! Teas, especially green and black, can be very beneficial to the body.

Green and black tea are rich in antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage, reports Livestrong.com. The Harvard Medical School also states that drinking these teas can help reduce the blood's low density lipoprotein levels, which are an unhealthy form of cholesterol.

More importantly, iced teas help hydrate the body to keep it "functioning at its optimal level."



 

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