Summer’s hot days and warm nights can make even the most dedicated water-drinker reach for a thirst-quenching juice or sugary soda. Before you grab just anything off the shelf, try to be a bit discerning, recommends Monique Ryan, RD. The Illinois-based nutritionist says that lots of seemingly “healthy” sodas and juices are filled with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. For a truly healthy summer cooler, Ryan advises finding a drink made from real fruit juice rather than artificial ingredients or other additives. Or consider milk or plain soy beverages, both rich in protein and calcium, she says.
Getting thirsty? Here are a few of our favorite cool drinks.
5 for refreshment
Sparkling juice by Izze
Size/12 ounces; calories/80–100 per 8-ounce serving
Made from 100 percent fruit juice, each bottle of sparkling Izze is equivalent to one serving of fruit, based on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.
For those who want a sugar-free carbonated drink. Choices like Sparkling Pear and Sparkling Clementine give Izze a more sophisticated flavor than other sodas and juices.
Pomegranate juice by POM Wonderful
Size/16 ounces; calories/140 per 8-ounce serving
Pomegranate juice is rich in potassium, and one glass of the elixir has more heart-healthy antioxidant polyphenols than the equivalent amount of red wine, green tea, cranberry juice, or orange juice.
For those who want a more mature drink that’s not saccharin-tasting. POM Wonderful is delightfully tart, and its heavier nectar tastes even better when added to smoothies, alcoholic beverages, or carbonated water.
vitaminwater by Glacéau
Size/20 ounces; calories/50 per 8-ounce serving
With 13 different vitamin/flavor combinations, Glacéau’s enhanced water beverages are full of electrolytes and nutrients, though fructose is the second ingredient.
For those who want more kick than plain water. Flavors such as dragonfruit and green tea make vitaminwater a unique-tasting and subtle alternative to generic or overly sweet sports drinks.
Reduced fat 2% milk by Organic Valley
Size/11 ounces; calories/170 per 11-ounce serving
Contains 12 grams of protein and 35 percent of your daily allowance for calcium and vitamin D, in addition to healthy doses of vitamin A, vitamin B12, magnesium, riboflavin, and phosphorous.
For those who want something rich and creamy without all the sugar of a shake or ice cream. With 7 grams of fat per serving, Organic Valley milk satisfies both your hunger and your thirst.
Silk soymilk by White Wave
Size/11 ounces; calories/140 per 11-ounce serving
Just one bottle of plain flavor Silk provides 10 grams of soy protein, 70 percent of your daily allowance for vitamin B12, and 40 percent of your daily allowance for calcium—not to mention notable amounts of vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.
A dairy-free milk drink for those who want all the benefits of soy. Silk soymilk tastes as smooth as its name sounds, and the company’s chocolate beverage is a tasty treat any time of the day.