Published June 26, 2018 — Share
It’s a well known fact: hydration during the summer is crucial to staying cool, bright and healthy. However, with all the music festivals, BBQs and other major events happening in Canadian backyards, the popular choices filled with sugar and alcohol aren’t necessarily the healthiest choices.
Recent studies show Canadians aren’t making the healthiest drink choices. Canadians consume 3.6 times the world average of alcohol and had the highest per captia consumption of alcohol among North and South American countries in 2016. Canadians also consumed 65 L of soft drinks per capita last year.
Lucky for us, there are many alternatives for a healthy and flavourful kick without the added caffeine, processed sugars and alcohol.
Check out this list of healthy drink suggestions below for the next time you go for patio drinks or host a backyard barbecue.
When it comes to hydration and health, there’s nothing quite like water. Many believe eight cups of water per day is enough to stay healthy, but that’s a myth according to the Dietitians of Canada. Men need 3 L per day (12 cups) and women need 2.2 L per day (9 cups). This number only increases in the warm summer weather if you are outside sweating and losing more fluids”!
Water is always your healthiest choice. With zero sugar, calories and fat, it’s the perfect essential.
Kombucha is a probiotic, fermented drink. The benefits of probiotics are widely known, and the connection between consuming probiotics and improved health can be seen in our research pages here.
While some restaurants may serve kombucha with spirits, we suggest you skip the alcohol and enjoy the variety of kombucha flavours available today. Too much kombucha or fermented beverages at once can take some getting used to. Listen to your gut and drink accordingly.
If you start drinking kombucha, you can start experimenting with different combinations. Buy or make your own dairy-free frozen treat (like a coconut, almond or soy-based ice cream), and try adding a scoop or two on top of your favourite kombucha. The result is a low-fat and probiotic-packed “float to satisfy the thirsty kid in all of us.
Coconut water provides the body with electrolytes. Just 250 ml (1 cup) of coconut water contains about 600 mg of potassium, an essential mineral that has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure.
However, be careful with coconut water and always read nutrition labels. While it has significantly less sugar than traditional juices, there may be added sugar in some products. Be sure to monitor this and include the sweet drink as a healthy choice for a treat or celebration.
Tomatoes have a healthy dose of the antioxidant lycopene, which is good for the heart, not to mention the high levels of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K! Removing the alcohol from a Caesar gives this favourite Canadian cocktail a health-conscious makeover that’s equally delicious and satisfying.
The probiotics found in kefir are good bacteria that can help our digestion. Not only that, like all dairy products, kefir is filled with beneficial calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. There’s a variety of fruit-filled smoothies that can be made using this probiotic powerhouse. Just combine some of your favorite fruit in a blender and you’re ready for a concentrated kick of nutrients.
Berries provide antioxidants and generally have a lower glycemic index than other fruits. Chemist and nutritionist Ronald Prior conducted a study on antioxidants and found that the most powerful antioxidant berry found was wild blueberry, followed by cranberry, blackberry then raspberry. Adding these to any of the above beverages will fill your body with the nutrients it needs to power through a hot day, and keep you sharp and healthy.
Now you’re well on your way to sipping healthier this summer!