Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Make Your Own Hydrating Summer Drink

By Alana Sugar, June 1, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Tea Punch Summer is just around the corner and that means more time out in the sun. Whether you're working, playing or exercising, it's important to stay well-hydrated! While I prefer cool water (maybe sparkling with a squeeze of fresh lime), many people think of sports drinks, energy drinks and flavored vitamin waters. Granted, they seem sassy and sexy, but have you looked at the labels of some of these popular drinks? They can be packed with sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. They often have added salt and caffeine too. Some of them claim to be fruit flavored, but have no fruit or fruit juice added. The big selling point for many of these sports drinks is the "electrolyte replacement factor." The electrolytes in your body are sodium, potassium and chloride. These are salts that are needed by your cells to carry electrical impulses to other cells, allowing your muscles and nerves to work properly. Most people get plenty of sodium and potassium through their normal diet. While you always want to replace the fluid you lose from any activity, unless you are really exercising vigorously and sweating a lot, you probably don't need sports drinks to replace electrolytes. If you are going to be out in the sun and/or engaging in exercise, you can brew up your own cooling drink to take along. We have some great ideas for making your own summer tea and sports drink that are good for your health and good for your wallet. For summer tea, brew up a large batch of black, white, green or herbal tea, plain or with natural flavors. These are available caffeine free, too, so use whichever you prefer. My personal favorites for a hot day are mint tea, apricot white tea or peach white tea. For an extra treat, add a cinnamon stick, some green cardamom pods, a couple of cloves, some chopped fresh ginger root or even an inch of a vanilla bean when brewing the tea. Remove after cooling. Next, add some 100% natural fruit juice like pomegranate, black cherry, grape, cranberry or apple. For a fun and nutritious boost, blend with fresh fruit such as grapefruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, papaya or kiwi. Taste and if it's not sweet enough for you, add some more fruit juice or just a bit of honey or agave nectar. Chill and serve. There you have it: a great homemade hydrating drink, perfect for packing in a reuseable bottle when you hit the road. Play around with the proportions of tea to juice to suit your tastes. You can also try this recipe from Allegro® Tea: Allegro's Backyard BBQ Fruit Tea Cooler 8 bags Allegro® Fruit Ambrosia Tea 4 cups boiling water 4 cups apple juice Steep the tea in boiling water for 10 minutes. Pour into a 2 qt. container along with the apple juice. To serve, pour over ice and garnish with mixed berries such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. You can pour it cold into a bottle and take it along outside. Now, if you want to add some potassium to your drink for electrolyte replacement, start with a cup of orange juice, apple juice or grapefruit juice. For flavor and variety, add a cup of mint or other tea, a tablespoon of frozen juice concentrate such as grape, cranberry, apple, orange or cherry. If desired, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. It's simple and refreshing! TeaNeed some inspiration on cool combinations? How about:
  • Peppermint tea with pureed strawberries and a teaspoon of frozen apple juice concentrate
  • Jasmine green tea with pureed kiwi and a drizzle of honey or agave nectar
  • Pink grapefruit juice with citrus herbal tea topped off with sparkling water
  • All natural limeade with pureed papaya and a splash of water, sparking or still
  • All natural lemonade with pomegranate juice cut with sparking water
Because fruit has fiber and small seeds (like kiwi and strawberries), be sure to blend with enough liquid to obtain a pourable consistency and, if desired, strain before drinking. To replace electrolytes, add a teaspoonful of orange juice concentrate to any of these combinations. Have you ever made your own sports drink or do you have a special summer cooling drink? Tell me about it! I'd love to know.
Category: Healthy Eating




Steve Johnson says ...
Great article, the drinks sound wonderful. I personally have shopped at many of your stores and like them very much. I wish you every success and positive same store growth. I would request that Whoel foods staff refrain from calling your units a “groceraunt”. The verbal, defined and printed descriptor Grocerant is a trademark /service mark that I own. The minor change is spelling is confusing the public and my client base. Your success and niche have been defined and I am one who agrees you’re a niche leader. However as for calling your units Grocerant’s please stop.
06/01/2009 4:25:05 PM CDT
Meenakshi says ...
For me, it's good old lemonade.... here's my recipe for lemonade concentrate http://onestopeats.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/lemonade-concentrate/ You can make it in big batches and it keeps really well for months, making it convenient to have a cool, refreshing drink any time without any hard work. Top it with a little bit of mint or add a little watermelon, or even kiwis or oranges... the options are limitless. :)
06/01/2009 5:46:57 PM CDT
Terrie says ...
These ideas really do sound delicious. I am a rock climber and don't drink beer, which is the standard apres climb refreshment. To have a tea-bases fruit drink is just the ticket. Pure fruit juice is too sweet, and the tea will add depth. The key, during hot summer months, is to have a Nalgene bottle filled about 7/8 full and then frozen. The block of ice will keep the liquid icy cold for hours and hours. Yummmmmm
06/02/2009 2:10:37 PM CDT
Meredith Lime says ...
This is an AWESOME article! Not only did it remind me to make big batches of my own drinks, but it made me thirsty and want something healthy and refreshing! I also loved that you suggested agave nectar or honey (though stevia works well in teas as well, especially in liquid form if it is already cold). It caught my attention and made me want to do it! Thanks for getting my mind going around this idea.
06/02/2009 9:45:42 PM CDT
Tina Kayser says ...
Some excellent recipees! The idea of straining seeds is a good one. My granddaughter, Jasmine, loved the taste of the drink I made, but only sampled it because she did not like the idea of the little black seeds in her drink. She is only four and is at the stage where she is a little afraid of bugs and such. Thank you for helping in my quest of eating only organic whole grain foods. I plan to go to your store in Alabama today to stock up for the month. I shopped at Publix, although they do cary some organic foods, I am so grateful to have found your site and find there is a store close enough to drive my old car to.
06/03/2009 8:07:24 AM CDT
sally stark says ...
my favorite is coconut water! not cocnut but water, its the liquid from the green cocnut before it is turn to milk , it is amazing and very hydrating. tons of calcium, magnesium, and electrolytes. slighty sweet too...I also use it as a "pedialyte" when my kids are sick too, it ia all natural the way it is supposed to be! look at it the next time you go to the store!
06/03/2009 4:05:05 PM CDT
Sheila LeMasters says ...
The receipie you offer is great. I usually prefer an excellent, natural, soluable water. The most natural and clean tasteing water is from off the coast of the big island of Hawaii in Kona. The brand is not out there yet, but it will be when people catch on.
06/03/2009 4:11:44 PM CDT
Brigid Herold says ...
And a great way to brew your tea is to set it in the sun in a glass jar with the teabags and water! It takes care of itself while you do other things.
06/03/2009 4:27:14 PM CDT
James M. says ...
For a gallon of tea, you can even reduce about 2 cups of 100% apple juice with some agave nectar to create an excellent sweetener. Try steeping the tea with a spring of rosemary. In Nashville, "fruit tea" is a staple menu item in small cafes. For the most part, the tradition is a can of concentrated lemon juice, a can of concentrated orange juice, 8 cups of boiling water, a "family-size" tea bag and fresh mint. It usually includes a 3/4 cup of sugar, but can be sweetened with many low-glycemic options.
06/03/2009 5:30:38 PM CDT
Bettie says ...
You failed to mention the importance of Magnesium. "Smart Water" has Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. This would be a better base to which you can add your recommanded ingriedients. I play Table Tennis daily and Smart Water addressed my leg and arm muscle rigidity and returned them to normal. I drink just one quart of it daily. If I miss it one day, I wake up stiff again. The doctors did not know why my muscles were stiff.
06/03/2009 9:41:26 PM CDT
capigirly says ...
This is a great reminder to be conscious of healthy ways to hydrate in the extreme heat of Summer. Thx!
06/10/2009 10:12:44 AM CDT
Karen Veronica says ...
The tips and tricks are always useful....although given my sugar-free status I'm always partial to mixing and matching what I have for tea bags in my pantry! My latest batch: 2 tea bags golden green tea and one tea bag Raspberry Ginger. Once cool, add the juice of one lemon and ENJOY! A little zesty from the ginger, its refreshing and energizing ;0
06/17/2009 3:21:58 PM CDT
collette kenward says ...
do you carry cherry juice concentrate? Or no sugar cherry juice?
06/16/2010 12:03:00 PM CDT
paig292 says ...
@Collette Check with your local store to be certain of what's in stock, but I have a 100% Tart Cherry Juice in our 365 Organic Everyday Value line in my pantry so you should be able to find what you need.
06/16/2010 3:54:32 PM CDT
Quincy Hogan says ...
08/13/2013 1:20:52 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@QUINCY - Our products vary between stores. Check with the Ann Arbor store directly and they'll be happy to help you out!
08/13/2013 10:44:11 AM CDT
Maria says ...
Gall bladder special diet
02/18/2015 6:16:00 PM CST