summer drinks 8
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Summer is around the corner and summer drinks are necessary. Soon all the big hoardings of your city will be captured by soft drink companies. Your favorite movie stars, players will start advertising for soft drink in the name of summer drink. Their smart, flawless appearance will tempt you to buy the first bottle, then the second…third….and more.

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Are soft drinks good choice as summer drinks ?

Let me guess your excuses to choose only soft drink as summer drink –

  • It’s available everywhere

  • It’s cheap now a days

  • It’s tasty

  • As it’s in a sealed bottle, it is hygienic

  • It’s convenient

  • It gives instant energy

  • It’s refreshing and

  • After heavy meal it helps to digest

Really? Gone are those days when you used to believe that soft drinks are healthy or provide any sort of health benefits. It is proved that these soft drinks are a bottle of sugar – empty calorie without any nutrition.

  • Coca Cola 250 ml (1 glass) has 26.6 gm (approx 5 teaspoons) of sugar

  • Sprite 250 ml (1 glass) has 25.4 gm (approx 5 teaspoons) of sugar

  • Fanta 375 ml (1 glass) has 28 gm (approx 6 teaspoons) of sugar

  • Red Bull 250 ml (1 glass) can has 27 gm (approx 5-6 teaspoons) of sugar

  • Lipton ice tea 250 ml (1 glass) has 34 gm (approx 7 teaspoons) of sugar

For these drinks, not only the calorie but excessive sugar is also a major concern. Almost all the lifestyle diseases – overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, Alzheimer, depression etc has been linked with excess sugar intake. Therefore think twice before spending your money on these drinks .

Summer drinks are necessary

The feeling of having a glass of cold drink in hot summer is simply priceless. Apart from quenching thirst and feeling refreshed, summer drinks are necessary for three obvious reasons

  • to prevent dehydration

  • to supply the necessary electrolytes sodium, potassium etc.

  • to stay active throughout the day

Commercial soft drinks are not the only option

Be smart to choose a summer drink which give some health benefits not the one which definitely going to damage your system. Stop having any commercial drink because only then you will get to see the other options. Be mindful to pick your summer drink.

Having a glass of cool water once in every hour is the best summer drink ever, specially for those who spend most time sitting in an air-conditioned office, But we are creative and love variation in life, so 1-2 glasses of special summer drinks are fine for a day. Here are the 9 healthy and tasty summer drink option to choose from –

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Healthy summer drink 1 : Coconut water

This “ready made” summer drink should be at the top of your priority list. This is considered as the natural sports drink. Coconut water is low in calorie and rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium etc. Even if you are trying for weight loss or suffering from diabetes, start drinking coconut water without any guilt.

Calorie count of 1 glass of coconut water (250 ml) – 60 Kcal (approx)

Healthy summer drink 2: Ragi drink

If you are from southern part India, you know what I am talking about. Ragi is rich in dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and other minerals. It is a good source of complex carbohydrate which slowly get assimilated and give a steady blood glucose level for a long time. This makes the drink perfect for diabetes, weight loss, high blood pressure etc.

Ragi drink provides the energy and stamina to the Indian farmers for working in field under the hot sun throughout day. If you have diabetes, hypertension or struggling with constipation or weight loss, ragi water should be your first choice as summer drink.

This summer drink recipe –

All you need to do is add 2 table spoons of curd with 2 table spoons of simple ragi porridge (by boiling ragi flour in water), add salt and/or sugar/jaggery as per your taste.Stir well and drink. This Indian summer drink is the powerhouse of energy and micronutrients and give a cooling effect to body.

Calorie count of 1 glass of Ragi water (250 ml) with 2 tsp of sugar/jaggery – 110 Kcal (approx)

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Healthy summer drink 3: Sattu water

If you are from eastern part of India -Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal , then this drink is familiar to you. Sattu water is the favourite summer drink for people who work under the sun– cart puller, porters, hawkers, daily labours, farmers etc. This drink is a good source of carbohydrate, protein, soluble dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, zinc etc.

Similar to ragi water, this drink is also a fantastic choice for diabetic, hypertensive, overweight or suffering with constipation.

This summer drink recipe –

Sattu is roasted Bengal gram flour. Add 2 scoops of sattu in a glass. Put some lemon juice, rock salt and roasted cumin powder or sugar/jaggery (as per your taste) to it. Fill the glass with cold water. Stir well and start drinking.

Calorie count of 1 glass of Sattu water (250 ml) with 2 tsp of sugar/ jaggery – 110 Kcal (approx)

Healthy summer drink 4: Sugar cane juice

Don’t be scared of the name “sugar” in it. In fact it is the most healthiest sugar drink in the world. This natural drink is energy booster, helps in digestion, boost immunity, protects liver, contain anti cancer and anti ageing properties. Yes, you read them right. A glass of sugar cane juice can give you so many health benefits. So look for the sugar cane juice and start drinking. Still thinking of calorie?

Calorie count of 1 glass of Sugar cane juice (250 ml) – 110 Kcal (approx)

Healthy summer drink 5: Lemon water

Good old lemon water is our all time favorite. Even if you don’t get any of the healthy summer drink, lemon water is available anywhere any time. It is refreshing and loaded with vitamin C, boost immunity, rich source of potassium,calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

This summer drink recipe –

Just squeeze out lemon juice, add little rock salt and sugar/jaggery (optional) and fill the glass with cold water. Stir it well and drink.

Calorie count of 1 glass of lemon (250 ml) – 60 Kcal (approx) with 2 tsp of sugar/ jaggery

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Healthy summer drink 6: Fruit Juice

Summer is the season when markets are filled with various types of juicy fruits. So fruit juice is one of the healthy option as your summer drink. As a nutritionist, I will advice you to eat the fruit instead of juice to get all its fiber but there are days when you may feel like having a fruit juice. So feel free to have fruit juice once a week but for rest of the days pick your fruit bowl.

Fruits are rich in natural sugar, vitamins and minerals – a fantastic natural combination to beat the summer heat. Sweet lime (mosambi), watermelon, mango, chickoo are the favourite fruit juices.

This summer drink recipe –

Cut the fruits into small pieces. Separate the seeds. Put them in a grinder and make the juice. Add some ginger juice, rock salt to give the punch as per your choice. Fruits are generally sweet. So avoid any extra sugar to your juice.

Calorie count of 1 glass of mango (250 ml) – 110 Kcal (approx)

Calorie count of 1 glass of watermelon (250 ml) – 40 Kcal (approx)

Calorie count of 1 glass of sweet lime (250 ml) – 65 Kcal (approx)

Healthy summer drink 7: Aam panna (raw mango juice)

This is probably the most loved summer drink in India. Don’t get excited. I don’t mean the commercial mango panna syrup. Yes, instead of showing trust on commercial product, make you own aam panna at home to get all it’s goodness. Similar to other fruit juices, this drink is also give a cooling effect along with a steady supply of micronutrients.

This summer drink recipe –

Boil the raw mango. Take out the pulp along with the boiled water. Mix sugar, cumin powder, rock salt to it. Store the syrup in a glass jar. Take 2 table spoons of syrup in a glass and fill it with cold water. Stir well and your aam panna is ready to drink.

Calorie count of 1 glass of aam panna (250 ml) – 110 Kcal (approx) with 2 tsp of sugar

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Healthy summer drink 8: Kokum Juice

If you are from west or southern part of India- Maharashtra, Karnataka,Goa, you are familiar with this tasty summer drink. Kokum (Garnicia Indica) has wonderful cooling properties which makes it perfect for hot summer. Kokum is rich in citric acid, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber. It has antifungal, antioxidant, anti inflammatory properties which control blood cholesterol and helps in weight loss.

This summer drink recipe –

Kokum juice is made from the dried skin of kokum fruit. Soak the dried skin of kokum fruit for 30 mins in hot water. Once get softer, add sugar and mix it well using a mixer. Add roasted cumin powder, mint leaves and rock salt to the mixture. Fill the jar with cold water. Stir well. You drink is ready.

Calorie count of 1 glass of Kokum Juice (250 ml) – 115 Kcal (approx) with 2 tsp of sugar

Healthy summer drink 9: Lassi / Buttermilk

Lassi /buttermilk is another popular yet healthy option as summer drink. Curd being the main ingredient, this drink is extremely good for digestion and gut health, nourish our body with plenty of vitamins and minerals.

This summer drink recipe –

Traditional buttermilk is actually the liquid left after churning butter. But these days buttermilk/lassi are prepared with curd. Add 2 tablespoons of curd in a glass. Put rock salt, lemon (optional), roasted cumin powder/ sugar or jaggery as per your taste. Fill the glass with cold water. Mix it well and start drinking.

Calorie count of 1 glass of buttermilk/lassi (250 ml) – 100 Kcal (approx)

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Enjoy summer drink without a plastic straw

Enjoy your summer drink without using a plastic straw. You are an adult, you can manage to finish your drink just drinking. This is a smart way to reduce the plastic load from your life as well as from the environment to make sure holistic health. You must be thinking, after all it is just one straw. I read an interesting post recently which says “ it’s just a straw, it’s just a bag, it’s just a mug…it’s only 7.5 million people”.

Start doing your bit, rest will be taken care.

Bottom Line

Stop running after quick summer drinks. Say no to all commercial soft drinks/ energy drinks/ packaged ice tea/ fruit juice syrup or instant drink powders. No matter how cool they look in advertisement, ultimately they are nothing but loaded with sugar. Remember, the models or players or movie stars endorsing it never include these products to their daily diet. So stop buying them for you, for your kids and for your family.

There are many healthy options to satisfy your thirst this summer. Try these summer drink recipes and enjoy the summer with these healthy drinks. Keep variety as far as possible. Choose the local fruit if drinking fruit juice. If nothing is available drink simple lemon water. Oh yes! Don’t forget to say “no” to the plastic straw.

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Dr. Soma Chakrabarty has done her Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition in 2017. She is based in Hyderabad. She has 12 yrs of working experience in nutrition. Dr. Soma guides people to modify eating behavior and achieve the goal of wellness. She believes in a sustainable diet that helps people to live rather than survive.

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