Posted: Jul 23, 2014 8:00 AM
 
Staying hydrated is so important during the summer. Turning to diet soda doesn't have to be the only low-calorie alternative to water.
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Infused water

A burst of flavor
Infused Water Recipes
Infused water is an easy, healthy alternative to plain water — and it sounds much more complicated than it actually is. You can make large batches of infused water by adding your favorite combination of sliced vegetables or fruit to your water and letting it sit for at least two hours — steep water up to eight hours, depending on how strong you'd like the flavor to be.

If you forget to get your water ready, simply toss some fruit or veggies into your water bottle and continue to refill throughout the day. It may not have as strong of a flavor as water that steeped overnight, but it will add a bit of sweetness or tanginess, depending on the flavor combination you try. Popular infusions include: mixed berries, strawberry and mint, cucumber and mint and blackberry and sage. For three great ideas, check out our infused water recipes.

Herbal teas

Provide health benefits

Herbal teas

On their own, herbal teas are basically as close to zero calories as plain water. Different herbal combinations have different health benefits, and it can be helpful to do a little research or speak with a knowledgeable employee at your favorite tea shop before loading up on summer alternatives to water.

Herbal teas are derived from herbs and spices. They're sometimes called tisanes and are not the same thing as true, caffeinated teas. Their lack of caffeine makes them a palatable hydration option that won't interfere with your established sleep patterns by adding caffeine to your diet. If you prefer your tea in caffeinated form, try one of our fresh iced tea recipes.

Juiced vegetables

For fresh-tasting hydration

Green juices

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the health benefits of green vegetables. Adding salads to your meal plans is a common step for increasing vegetable consumption, but juicing your greens packs the double benefit of replenishing fluids while providing a nutritional power punch.

Kale and spinach are nutritionally-dense juicing greens, while celery and cucumbers provide a thinner consistency with their high water content. We love green juices so much, we've offered recipes for delicious, fresh-tasting juices — twice.

Coconut water

For a tropical treat
coconut water
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Runners and other athletes often turn to sports drinks in the summer to keep up their energy and replace nutrients lost through sweat — and moms chasing preschoolers around the park definitely know about working up a sweat. Coconut water is touted as a natural sports drink. The beverage contains potassium and electrolytes, two crucial components to rehydrating after water loss.

Keep in mind that coconut water is the liquid found in the center of the coconut — it's 94 percent water. Coconut milk is a delicious ingredient in many recipes, but it doesn't work as a low-calorie water alternative.

More about summer health

How to avoid summer stress
Grilled summer vegetable panini
Create a balanced summer schedule

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