Drink to Stay CoolDrink to Stay Cool

By Dr. Mao Shing Ni

High temperatures are a sure indicator that summer is in full swing. Running for air-conditioned cover will surely cool you off, but it won't protect you from dehydration. Try these simple tips and recipes to quench your thirst and stay cool as a cucumber all summer long!

Hello to H2O!

The easiest and best way to replenish lost fluid is to drink water; nothing will refresh you and hydrate more. If water sounds boring, try adding some fresh mint, a splash of unsweetened juice or some citrus or cucumber slices to your pitcher. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and take a few sips every half hour. You might think that the AC is enough to cool you off, but remember it doesn't supply you with fluids that you lost while waiting for the bus! Sip on H2O and save yourself from dizziness, nausea and other unpleasant effects of dehydration.

Power Up with Electrolytes

When you sweat, you not only lose water but also necessary electrolytes. What's so important about electrolytes? Electrolytes maintain fluid balance, muscle coordination, and heart function. But don't be so quick to reach for a sugary electrolyte beverage that, while it may contain electrolytes, also supplies you with preservatives and additives like food colorings and high-fructose corn syrup. Reach for coconut water instead; it is a natural electrolytic drink that contains both sodium and potassium.

Recipe: Yummy Citrus Electrolyte Replacement 

Try this simple homemade recipe and sip it throughout the day. Combine the ingredients and then add a quart of water for a refreshing pick-me-up!

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 orange
Can the Caffeine

Although an iced coffee drink may provide you with some cooling, remember that caffeine is a diuretic. This means that your body will lose water that may put you at an even greater risk for dehydration! Frozen coffee beverages contain lots of sugar and supersize portions will leave your insides parched. If you must indulge, choose the smallest size and forget the whipped cream, caramel, and fudge sauces. Then make certain to drink at least ten ounces of water for every caffeinated beverage you consume-including coffee, tea, and energy drinks.

Recipe: Tea Cooler 

Try this easy, cooling herbal, caffeine-free tea recipe that will keep you refreshed all summer long! 

Make up a pot of hot tea and then put it in the refrigerator to cool. Once it's cool, add the mint, orange slices, and a drizzle of honey or stevia for optionally added sweetness. According to Chinese tradition, you will drink your tea at room temperature, but if you must ... pour some of the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze it, then drop a few cubes into the cooled tea and enjoy!

You Lose with Booze!

A surefire way to get dehydrated is to drink alcohol. A cold beer might sound like the perfect thirst quencher, but the added calories and beer belly may not be what you bargained for! Like caffeine, alcohol is a dehydrating diuretic so don't be swayed by the looks of that strawberry colada or margarita. Opt for a cold homemade berry smoothie instead.

  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries
  • 1 cup cold coconut water
  • Small handful of fresh mint
  • Blend all the delicious ingredients and enjoy.

About the Author:

Emma Suttie is a practicing acupuncture physician and founder and editor of Chinese Medicine Living - a website dedicated to using traditional wisdom to live a healthy lifestyle in the modern world. She recently moved to the mountains of Costa Rica so she could pursue her lifelong dream of living in harmony with nature. She is in the process of designing curriculums to teach courses about Chinese Medicine online that will be available at learn.chinesemedicineliving.com so she can continue her mission to spread the wisdom of this wonderful medicine. She is married and has two small children.

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