During the summer, it’s easy to work up a thirst, especially if you’re spending time outside in the warm sun, relaxing by the pool, gardening, or vacationing at the beach. If you start to feel thirsty, though, that’s actually a sign of dehydration, so it’s important to rehydrate quickly.

A nice cool drink is tough to beat on a hot day, but some drinks are better than others. A lot of people turn toward an ice-cold beer or alcoholic drink. While having a few of these may feel refreshing and nice, they can actually make things worse. Alcohol can dehydrate you, which is one of the reasons we get hangovers, and can put you at further risk of heat stroke and overheating when you’re out in the sun.

With hydration being so important during the summer, having refreshing drinks on hand for hot days is essential. While you can make an alcoholic-free version of classic cocktails, or “mocktails,” to drink, we’ll be focusing on the drinks that are the most hydrating and that relieve your thirst the best on a hot day. Best of all, these drinks are easy to make at home!

Water

Okay, you probably weren’t expecting water to be on this list. We get it. It’s what you might drink all the time or when you’re on a diet or trying to save money at dinner. Simply put, water is the most basic of the refreshing summer drinks, and that’s exactly why it’s at the top of our list.

When it comes to hydration and getting rid of thirst, there are few things that you should know about water. It’s pure hydration. There’s no hidden sodium, no hidden sugar, and no hidden alcohol; things other drinks may have. At the same time, it’s readily available, with many people able to drink from the nearest faucet or fridge. This makes drinking water a perfect way to rehydrate in the summer!

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Medicareful’s Cool Glass of Water Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 oz of water
  • 4 ice cubes (optional)
  • ½ fresh lemon (optional)

    Directions

    1. Optional: Place ice cubes in the bottom of a glass.
    2. Pour water into the glass.
    3. Optional: Squeeze half of the lemon into the water, place the lemon rind in the glass, and lightly stir the water with a spoon to mix the lemon juice in.
    4. Serve!

Lemonade

Lemonade conjures a fairly consistent image across American minds: children sitting out in a booth in the summertime selling lemonade to adults passing by their stand. This has been a quintessential image of summer since the 1800s. While lemonade stands have gone through a bit of a crackdown for health reasons (though there are states that still seek to allow it), you can still take lemons make some lemonade on your own.

Why is lemonade such a favorite on hot days? Largely for two reasons. First, the sourness of the citrus fruit stimulates saliva, which can wet a parched mouth and give the impression of hydration. At the same time, it’s acidity conceals the sweetness of the drink. (A sugary flavor is one of the least thirst-quenching flavors.) Finally, the water in lemonade further hydrates you. So, lemonade hydrates and quenches your thirst, all at the same time!

Classic Summertime Lemonade Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 2 tbsp of simple syrup or sugar
  • 4-8 blueberries (optional)

Directions

  1. Lightly roll the lemon on a hard surface, like the countertop or a cutting board. This makes the lemon easier to juice later.
  2. Juice the lemon and mix it into the cup of water.
  3. Stir in the simple syrup or sugar. If you use sugar, stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  4. Optional: Add in four to eight blueberries and lightly crush/muddle them to add a new depth of flavor!
  5. Optional: Serve with a wedge of lemon for garnish.

Watermelon Smoothie

Our final entry is a bit more labor-intensive than pouring a glass of water or making a glass of lemonade, but it can be absolutely worth it. A watermelon smoothie is a reliable and versatile refreshment option during the summer.

Watermelon can be paired with many different fruits, is a healthy food option, and may even be more hydrating than water! It certainly doesn’t hurt that watermelon is 90 percent water. Not only are you getting fluid from watermelon, but you’re also getting several vitamins and minerals like electrolytes, which are essential to our bodies. All this is why watermelon has been called the perfect summer snack. Why not use it make a refreshing summer smoothie?

Refreshing Watermelon-Banana Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of seedless watermelon cubes, 1-inch around
  • 1 banana, cut into ½ inch slices
  • ½ cup to 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Add three cups of watermelon, the banana slices, and ¼ cup of Greek yogurt to a blender.
  2. Blend thoroughly and taste the smoothie. If it’s not at your preferred creaminess or thickness, add another ¼ cup of Greek yogurt.
  3. Optional: If you want it sweeter, add honey or a sweetener of your choice.
  4. Blend until smooth. Repeat any steps as necessary until your smoothie is the right consistency and taste for you.
  5. Serve!