Summers are finally here and so are the heat waves. To avoid the health risks posed by the scorching heat, it is important to keep yourself hydrated. While chugging plenty of water may help, you can also consider the intake of certain healthy drinks that will more than just quench your thirst. The article details the top 5 health drinks for summer in detail below.
1. Lemon Water
Lemon water, or lemonade, is perhaps the most popular drink that is consumed during the summer season. The beverage is a rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals thereby lowering the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Lemonade is also an excellent source of flavonoids that help reduce body inflammation and lessen the risk of chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and autoimmune disorders. The beverage also contains significant amounts of citrate, a compound that can help inhibit the formation of kidney stones. Limited research shows that regular intake of lemonade can also help benefit weight loss, mental health, digestive health, and improve athletic performance.
2. Sugarcane Juice
Sugarcane juice is a naturally sweetened beverage that contains antioxidants and essential micronutrients like iron, magnesium, riboflavin, and thiamine (vitamin B1). According to research, sugarcane juice possesses diuretic properties that can help improve the functioning of kidneys. Studies have also shown that intake of ginger-infused sugarcane juice can reduce the occurrence of morning sickness in pregnant women. One study claims that the drink is as effective as sports drinks at enhancing athletic performance during exercise.
3. Coconut water
Coconut water is one of the best drinks to beat the summer heat. The beverage is often dubbed a “natural sports drink” as it can help restore hydration and electrolyte levels in the body. Coconut water is a powerhouse of potassium, a mineral that helps expel extra sodium from the body and promotes heart health by lowering blood pressure. Besides heart health, the beverage is also beneficial for kidney health as it prevents the formation of kidney stones by increasing the removal of potassium, chloride and citrate (compounds that combine together to form tiny stones) through urine.
4. Watermelon Juice
Watermelon juice is a refreshing natural drink that helps quench thirst during the summer heat. It is an excellent source of lycopene, a natural compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that maintain heart health and reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a common eye problem in older people. Watermelon juice is rich in citrulline, an amino acid that helps increase nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, which can play an important role in boosting exercise performance. The beverage also contains vitamin A and vitamin C, which may support skin health by protecting and repairing skin cells.
Buttermilk, better known in Hindi as chaach or chaas, is a fermented dairy beverage that is obtained after churning butter from whole milk. The beverage contains water, lactose (milk sugar), casein (milk protein), and lactic acid which prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria. The traditional beverage is an excellent source of calcium, therefore helps maintain bone strength and prevents degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis. Sphingolipid compounds in buttermilk may also benefit heart health by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
It is important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the summer season to avoid the risk of dehydration and sunstroke. Experts recommend drinking at least 16 to 20 glasses (i.e 2 to 3 litres) of water daily to maintain optimum hydration levels. Besides water, you can also consider drinking the aforementioned health drinks. These beverages will not only delight your taste buds but also offer several health benefits.