“Drink water”, they say. “It’s paramount for radiant skin”, they say. But on sizzling hot summer days it’s so easy to fall for diluted sugar on ice. Or not?
“Tweet me!” – Team Tea gathers on Social Media
If you’re on Twitter, let me introduce you to a very helpful hashtag. Use the force, my young padawan, and try #TeamTea.
#TeamTea unites tweets about the benefits of tea, delicious recipes of homemade tea drinks, and rare tea varieties.
“Don’t drink me!” – The Song of Sugar and Ice
sugared drinks; pure fruit juices or smoothies; soda drinks; store-bought (and sadly, oftentimes restaurant-served) iced tea; alcohol – cocktails with tons of sugar and beer with sirup in particular; energy drinks; sports drinks; drinks with artificial sweeteners; iced coffee – in particular with sugar, cream or sirup.
These are the dark side, and they don’t even have cookies!
Instead, they overcharge your system with (useless) sugar or burden it with synthetic, often toxic sweeteners, dehydrate you by means of alcohol, unpleasant side effects and sometimes serious health threats.
Nina Knab, tea expert and blogger with Teepapst.com, explains why another summer favourite, sugared iced tea, might be worse than you thought:
Home-made, unsweetened ice tea made from a good quality tea might be a good option. Store-bought or ready-made beverages consist of water, sugar, acidifiers and unspecified black tea extracts. New studies warn us every year of the risks related to drinking ready-made iced tea. Cheap teas are often contaminated with heavy metals and oxalates. In combination with sugar and acidifiers, oxalates not only effect your teeth but also contribute to the formation of kidney stones affecting us as early as in childhood years. During hot weather periods, our body needs minerals, not sugar. In addition, lots of sugar, just like salt, promote the sensation of thirst.”
“Drink me!” – The Good Guys
These are safe thirst-quenchers and good for you, too:
Water; coconut water (UPDATE: an excellent FoodBabe research on how to pick the Real Thing when choosing coconut water, A MUST-READ!); chia gel/drink aka chia fresca; green juice; herbal tea; green tea / lukewarm green tea.
But why should you rely on my opinion only?
(Though to be fair, my opinion is well-founded and backed by recent research, but I hear ya.)
I’ve asked three experts about their favourite drinks and tips and this is what they’ve got for you:
Caroline Bienert, an internationally renowned nutritionist who also happens to work often in the never-ending summer heat of Dubai, apart from agreeing with my Drink Me!/ Don’t Drink Me list, adds:
My favourite on hot summer days is the Moroccan-style spearmint/ nana mint tea.
Brew fresh leaves and let cool a bit. Lukewarm drinks refresh you much better than icy cold.”
Din, a triathlete and the creator of my favourite sports blog, Eiswürfel im Schuh, suggests:
An iced matcha is a treat, though I find lukewarm green tea even more refreshing.
I also love prepping my refreshing drinks overnight.”
Find Din’s exotic recipes right in the next section!
Tea expert & blogger (and also physiotherapist, sociologist, and social media manager) Nina Knab of Teepapst.com has a clear favourite:
On really hot days, I prefer still mineral water – no ice – and lukewarm green tea, the naturally fruity green varieties like Shincha or Kukicha Karigane. They are just delicious, never bitter, and can be brewed several times. These teas help me cope with the heat.
Drinks that are too cold don’t agree with me.”
Din’s bitter melon tonic: green tea (let cool) + slices of bitter lemon + let sit overnight, enjoy in the morning.
My personal go-to recipes are just as simple:
Fruity tonic: coconut water (not cooled) with just 2 spoons of frozen raspberries per 300 ml glass.
Alternatively I add frozen raspberries to a naturally fizzy water.
Liver detox: mineral water with a dash of unsweetened cranberry juice and artichoke juice.
Ginger water: mineral water – or a mild green tea – with a dash of ginger juice or with ginger slices soaked overnight.
Green tea infused (while still hot) with fresh sprigs of rosemary, spearmint, and sage.
1. If you need a reminder that softly takes over your monitor, you might try this app that I’ve reviewed earlier.
2. You’ll appreciate a nice and plastic-free carafe that reminds you to stay hydrated.
3. Another piece of advice: get yourself a nice, special glass just for your special water.
Who said crystal is for booze only!?
On a not-at-all-related note: If you’ve spotted an eighties reference highlighted here somewhere, I love you! 🙂