For many, summer is the season to spend outdoors. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or enjoying a day at the park with friends, you’ll most likely want to indulge a bit. Delicious cocktails are a signature of summer, but most people forget that these recipes can often include far too many unhealthy elements, like sugar.
A group of nutrition researchers recently agreed that sugar-sweetened beverages play a unique role in chronic health problems (1). Sugar-heavy beverages like soda and juice have been the subject of research for many years now, with nutrition experts linking the consumption of these sugars to unhealthy weight gain (2).
Very few people want to hear that they are putting on weight when the summer arrives, as it tends to be a popular time of year for hyper-focused diet and exercise. This means you need to stay extra mindful when mixing up a few cocktails while on vacation.
Healthier Summer Drink Alternatives
Luckily, there are many healthier drink options to choose from. Cucumber juice can be an excellent base for a refreshing drink, as cucumber is hydrating, packed with useful fibers and naturally low in sugar (3). Toss in some fresh sprigs of mint or a squirt of lime for added flavor.
Watermelon is ubiquitous in the summer, and it might also be a great option for low-calorie drinks. This fruit is high in water content, low in sugar and easily incorporated into an array of seasonal cocktails and mocktails. Experts believe watermelon might even be able to help with weight loss (4), though the science behind this is still being researched.
Stick with low-calorie options like fresh cucumber and watermelon and be sure to avoid sugary mixers. While there is nothing wrong with indulging now and again, it can be a slippery slope. If you don’t want to double down on your diet due to an unforeseen sugar overload at the beach, explore alternative options and stay healthy while enjoying the season.