Cool Summer Drinks: Your Best Bets
6 refreshing ways to stay hydrated this summer.
Cool Summer Drink No. 1: Cold Water
Cold water hydrates, cools, and refreshes you like nothing else. If your tap
water has levels of components/contaminants that you aren't comfortable with,
you can buy a filtering system (even the affordable carafe type) that can
The environmentally cool thing about tap water or filtered water is there
are no plastic or glass bottles to trash or recycle.
You can make your water taste a lot more interesting by adding a slice of
lemon, lime, or orange.
Cool Summer Drink No. 2: Water With Natural Flavor Essence
This type of flavored water -- with no calories and no alternative
sweeteners -- is my favorite way to drink water. If you don't care for
plain water, give these a try. If it tastes good to you, you'll be more likely
to drink more of it -- and stay more hydrated.
Depending on where you live, you'll have many brands to choose from, like
Crystal Geyser, Calistoga, or Perrier with lemon. The first two brands come in
assorted noncaloric and nonartificially sweetened flavors -- lemon, lime,
orange, and berry. These are bubbly, though, so drink them only if carbonation
isn't a problem for you.
If you want something nonbubbly, try Calistoga Mineral Water with essence.
Its ingredients are simple: mineral water, natural flavors, and carbon
Cool Summer Drink No. 3: Iced Green or Black Tea
Look for noncaffeinated versions if you drink tea throughout the day. Lots
of flavor options await you at most grocery stores and specialty markets. If
you insist on sweetening your tea, use the least amount of sweetener your
tastes will tolerate.
Cool Summer Drink No. 4: Iced Coffee
Millions of Starbucks customers have already figured out how to have their
coffee and stay cool, too -- iced coffee! The lowest-calorie way to go is to
drink it black, or add a splash or two of low- fat milk or a flavored, fat-free
creamer. And you can make it even healthier by choosing decaf.
The Iced Caffe Americano from Starbucks is espresso mixed with cold filtered
water and ice, and it has just 15 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrate. If you
go the iced latte route, Starbucks' tall Iced Caffe Latte with nonfat milk adds
up to 90 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrate (from the nonfat milk).
It's easy to make iced coffee at home, too. Just brew a batch of coffee in
the morning or the night before, chill it in the refrigerator, and it will be
ready to hit the ice by high noon.
Here's my simple method: To a large glass, add 1 1/4 cups iced coffee, 1/2
cup low-fat milk, and one packet Splenda Flavor Blends for Coffee, such as
hazelnut (about 1/2 teaspoon). Stir, then add at least 1 cup of ice cubes or
For an even more flavorful twist on iced coffee, see my Raspberry Mocha
Freeze recipe below.