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It's summer, it's hot, and you want to cool down fast with a cold drink. In the refrigerator are many choices and ice cubes in the freezer make them even more enticing. Soda pop and beer are quick and easy. Just pop the top and you are on your way to a fast cool down, right? Okay, you think you know better, so you choose a flavored water or sports drink that would do the trick. Maybe you would prefer a chilled alcoholic beverage
It's summer, it's hot, and you want to cool down fast with a cold drink. In the refrigerator are many choices and ice cubes in the freezer make them even more enticing. Soda pop and beer are quick and easy. Just pop the top and you are on your way to a fast cool down, right? Okay, you think you know better, so you choose a flavored water or sports drink that would do the trick. Maybe you would prefer a chilled alcoholic beverage like a screwdriver, gin and tonic, or another flavored favorite. And the kids? They can have that childhood favorite of KoolAid, or a juice that comes in a box or pouch. I would like to make the case for why these drinks are not good choices, and the main reason they are not is because of the sugar they contain. All the drinks listed above contain sugars of varying amounts and types. I would like to first address alcohol. Anything alcoholic is sugar and adding flavor just makes it worse, not to mention the fact that alcohol is very dehydrating. Drinking a dehydrating beverage on a hot day where you are losing fluid through perspiration is not a good choice. It can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, or even something worse. Something like a heart attack, or even death. Soda pops, juices and flavored waters all contain too much sugar for them to be a good choice on a hot day (or any other day for that matter). Sugar does not quench thirst. It just makes things worse for your body. First of all, your body has to metabolize the sugar. Metabolizing something you drink means increasing heat in your body. Refined sugars and fructose corn syrups are difficult for your body to process and, therefore, require more heat to be able to be digested. These sugars also wreak havoc on your body by pulling nutrients away from places, such as bones, to provide the added nutrients needed to break them down. Another problem these sugars can cause is a fatty liver. Alcoholics are no longer the only people who should be concerned with acquiring this issue. So what can you do instead? How about good-old water? I'm not talking about the fluoridated and chlorinated stuff that comes directly out of your tap. Those chemicals are way to hard on your body. I'm talking about filtered drinking water. Boring you say? Well, dress it up. Make it an herbal iced tea, freeze some lemon flavored water as ice cubes and add it to your tea. Put a pitcher in your fridge and add lemons (organic if you use the peel) and or cucumbers. You could also add fruits such as watermelon or peaches. Yes, they contain some sugars, but they also contain the other nutrients needed to digest them. Strawberries and other berries also make a plain, boring water just a bit more interesting. Play around with it and see what you like. It's hot outside. Make sure you make the most of your hydrating and cooling efforts by drinking beverages that support your body, not weigh it down and dehydrate it. Drink plenty of clean water and, if you need to, dress it up for some variety. Jennifer M. Clark is the owner of Nurturing Wellbeing and creator of YOUR Body Reset. She is a certified Health Coach and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as a Holistic Health Practitioner.
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