Summertime’s here, parties and weekend getaways are in full swing, and temperatures and thirsts are on the rise. While we all love a poolside cocktail, swapping alcohol in favor of a “mocktail” can ward off both dehydration and excess calorie intake.
It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in the summertime. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and excess bloating from water retention. While alcohol can have a dehydrating effect, all other beverages can help hydrate, including those containing caffeine, like teas, juice and soda. If water is too bland or if you prefer frozen beverages as a refreshment, making a mocktail is a great way to stay hydrated at the beach, pool or while simply enjoying the weather outside. And in case you needed an excuse to have some friends over for a BBQ, why not try this creative way to keep your guests entertained and hydrated in the summer heat.
One complaint I hear often from my patients, is that they find it hard to maintain their weight loss efforts during the summer when indulging in alcoholic beverages. Being that one 12-oz beer has about 150 calories and every 1 1/2 - oz shot of alcohol can add about 100 calories, these numbers can add up rather quickly. For someone who would typically have 2-3 drinks while laying poolside, swapping the alcohol for a mocktail can save up to 300 calories. By making the swap twice a week, you can save up to 7,200 calories this summer, which is equivalent to a 2 pound weight loss by Labor Day! Remember that all calories count when it comes to managing your weight, so when a party offers lots of options, choose what will work within your diet and active lifestyle.
Below are some of my favorite non-alcoholic summer time mocktails, each of them containing less than 60 calories per serving, which allows you to enjoy a refreshing beverage without worrying about your waistline. By choosing low- and no-calorie sweetened beverages like a diet soda or sparkling and flavored waters to mix into your mocktail, you can add great flavor without extra calories. With the right flavor profile and a little fizz, you’ll hardly miss the alcohol. Cheers to that!
Cucumber Lemon “Nojito”
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
16 oz Sprite zero
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Cut 4 thin slices of cucumber for garnish.
Peel and chop the rest of the cucumber add chopped mint to blender and puree. Using a strainer, drain the pureed cucumber/mint to extract the juice into an ice filled pitcher.
Add Sprite zero, lemon juice, and agave syrup to the cucumber juice and stir
Garnish cups with cucumber slices - makes 4 servings
Peach Mango “Creamsicles”
1 cup fresh (peeled and chopped) or canned peaches
1 cup cubed mango (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 orange (slice for garnish)
16 oz orange mango flavored fruitwater
Combine peaches, mango and orange juice into a blender and puree
Fill 4 glasses with ice cubes and garnish with orange slices. Pour 1/4 cup peach/mango puree and top with 1/2 cup fruitwater for a refreshing fizz
Very Berry Lemonade
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
8 oz vitaminwater zero squeeze - lemonade flavored
1 lemon (sliced for garnish)
Combine strawberries and raspberries into a blender and puree
Add in vitaminwater zero and blend
Fill pitcher with ice and pour in berry lemonade - garnish with lemon slices
Frozen Watermelon “Wateritas”
1 cups watermelon (seedless)
1 Tbsp agave
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lime juice
8 oz club soda
Optional salt or sugar to rim glasses
Using a blender, blend watermelon, agave, lemon juice, lime juice and club soda together
Using 4 chilled glasses, rim each with either salt or sugar (optional), pour waterita and enjoy!