Fruit-Flavored Drinks - Everything You Need to Know
There’s a huge variety of new “fruit-flavored” drinks on the market nowadays. This is because everyone’s aware of the importance of keeping our bodies well-hydrated and, of course, the food industry wants its share.
What do we hydrate with?
As summers get increasingly hotter, experts’ alerts in regard to high temperatures are becoming more and more familiar. They advise us to protect ourselves from the sun, not to exercise at the hottest times of the day, and to stay cool and well-hydrated.
We all know that we should drink about two pints of water a day, as established by the health authorities. A state of dehydration could lead to serious metabolic and functional disorders.
The best option to do so is water, no doubt. But for many people, it isn’t always easy to drink the proper amounts as many find it tasteless and not very appetizing.
This is why there’s a large consumption of other types of beverages such as soft drinks, juices, and energy drinks. According to the Food Consumption Report, in 2017 people consumed over 2,100 million pints of soft drinks, an average of around 49 liters per person per year.
The problem is the large amount of added sugar that most of them usually contain. Many experts warn against them due to the beverages’ high content of refined sugars and the dangers they pose for our health. Thus, we must pay special attention to reducing the consumption of these drinks.
Read more Eight types of food that help hydration
The strengths of fruit-flavored drinks
Fruit-flavored drinks made with natural ingredients such as fruits are ideal for hydrating.
When we talk about fruit-flavored water we either mean infused water or water blended with fruits, vegetables, and spices. In this case, we’ll be talking about a drink that’s as healthy as plain water.
Flavored water can be a very good option for hydrating with something more tasty, fun, and varied. And not only that, it’s also a way to reduce our consumption of sugary soft drinks. This is because we’ll be opting for other hydrating beverages that aren’t harmful to our health and that are tasty.
Beware of weak points
Flavored water found a place in the market among people who are health-conscious and know about the importance of proper nutrition for well-being.
Water and fruit is a very healthy combination. However, not all fruit-flavored drinks in the market are what they seem, and you must be careful with the ones you choose.
If you analyze the labels of some of the commercial flavored drinks you’ll soon realize that most contain sugar or other sweeteners in their list of ingredients.
Because of this, some of them are more like a soft drink than mineral water. This is because they may contain the equivalent of two to three teaspoons of sugar per cup. Some would even exceed the limit set by the WHO in a single can.
As you can see, even though you believe you’re buying a healthier drink, you are, in fact, adding a lot of sugar to your diet.
Read more: Eight Positive Health Changes When You Give up Soft Drinks
A long list of ingredients
You already know that water and fruit or vegetables are the ideal ingredients for a beverage. But the list of ingredients can be very long in commercial drinks. Apart from the sugar and sweeteners mentioned above, these beverages contain concentrated fruit juices, artificial aromas, acidulants, preservatives, and even dyes.
This is quite far from what’s acceptable for a beverage that’s supposed to be as healthy as mineral water.
Plants, vitamins, and minerals
So, what we look for in water is a drink that hydrates us and replenishes lost minerals. And, with the exception of some very special conditions, water shouldn’t provide us with other nutrients that we can obtain through food.
As you can see, we must read the labels of these products carefully. Let’s not be seduced by their messages about energizing, detoxing, and balancing. Remember, the function of a drink must be to hydrate you.
To enjoy the medicinal properties of plants you must go to specialized centers where they can give you personalized advice.
Homemade fruit-flavored drinks
The fruit-flavored drinks you make at home are healthy and ideal for cooling down during the summer. However, be sure to only use ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and spices.
If you make your own flavored drinks at home you’ll be in charge of the quality of the ingredients you’re using.
Be innovative and experiment with many ingredients. That is, try new spices and take advantage of the fruits and vegetables you already have at home.
So, follow these 3 basic rules for healthy and refreshing drinks that you can enjoy all year long. You’ll have plenty of great ones to offer your friends and guests!
1. Water as the main ingredient
The main ingredient of your drinks should be water. However, you can also opt for sparkling water if you prefer. Just add it at the end of the process. Once you prepare it, let it sit for a minimum of 12 hours before drinking it so they’re more flavorful. You may add ice cubes before serving it to maintain its freshness.
2. Use any fruit you like
You can use lime, lemon, orange, pineapple, mango, strawberries, or just about any fruit you like. Just cut it into pieces and put it in a wide jar. The smaller the pieces the better. Crush the juiciest fruits like strawberries, raspberries or blueberries to release more juices and aromas. You may also use cucumbers, carrots, and celery for some interesting combinations.
3. Add spices and fresh herbs to your fruit-flavored drinks
Finally, spices and fresh herbs go great with fruit and will add extra freshness and flavor. Cut fresh herbs like mint, basil, sage, parsley and mix them directly with the fruits. In the case of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves or ginger, just make an infusion and add it to the fruit when it’s still warm.
Are you ready for a fruit-flavored drink? As you can see, they’re a good way to hydrate as long as you maintain control of their ingredients to ensure top quality. In the future, stay away from commercial drinks as they contain too many sugars and additives.