Drinks have been taking a hit on all fronts lately. Chocolate milk and juice have been compared to pop, sugar-sweetened beverages blamed for obesity and diabetes among other chronic diseases, and even low-calorie, sugar-free beverages have been under attack. While we don’t disagree with the concerns, it brings us to the question of: what can people drink? Constantly harping on the negative aspects is not productive if it is not counterbalanced with some useful suggestions. The obvious answer is to drink water, but this might seem less than inspiring to some, if not most people. With that in mind we thought we’d post our top tips for spicing up your agua!
- Try unsweetened iced tea. Full of antioxidants and much better for you than the sweetened variety (sorry Good Host!), add a tea bag – green, black, herbal, rooibos or fruit – to some hot water (you can put a small amount of honey in to sweeten it) and allow it to steep. Cool and serve with a lemon wedge. Mighty Leaf has several varieties of tea pouches specifically designed to make a half gallon of iced tea (the Ginger Peach is a personal favourite!), so make a batch and keep in the fridge.
- Add fresh fruits…or veggies. Add a slice of fruit such as lemon, limes, oranges, etc. for a bit of flavour and some colour. You can also go the vegetable route and try a few slices of cucumber.
- A splash of juice is okay. Add a few tablespoons of 100% juice or some ice cubes made from juice to your water. This will give you some flavour without all of the sugar and calories.
- Sparkle on! Carbonated beverages are often more palatable – a bit more pizazz than flat water – but beware of hidden sodium lurking in that club soda (~ 100 mg in 250 ml)! Generic brand club sodas often use potassium instead of sodium (check the ingredient list), but can have a bit of an unpleasant metallic taste. Our favourite sparkling mineral water is Gerolsteiner– low in sodium, but high in calcium and magnesium, which are actually good for blood pressure!
- Flavour with herbs. Add herbs like mint, lemon balm or lavender – again, this works hot or cold.
- All the flavour, no sugar or Splenda. Add a sugar- and artificial sweetener-free flavour enhancer like True Lime or Lemon. Made from dehydrated lemons and limes, these little powder packs contain vitamin C… and no sugar or artificial sweeteners! We use 1 pack in about 500 ml of water. You can find them in the same aisle as Crystal Light.
Have some other great suggestions on how to dress-up your water? Feel free to share them in the comments section!