The best healthy drinks to quench your thirst

Water is the basic ingredient for all refreshing drinks, and it is essential for our good health. But drinking only water can prove tiresome, so when you want to quench your thirst, try a variety of delicious beverages.

The best healthy drinks to quench your thirst

Refreshing drinks should quench your thirst but not spike your blood sugar. Commercially produced drinks often contain too much sugar. Take a page from your grandmother's recipe book and make your own.

Water, the elixir of life

Advertising by bottled water companies gives consumers the impression their product is safer and healthier than tap water. As a result, world consumption of bottled water has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. In fact, you may be better off drinking the elixir of life straight from the tap.

  • Bottled water creates too many discarded plastic bottles that go straight into the dump.
  • Some bottled water companies actually use filtered municipal tap water.

Tea

After water, tea is the most widely-consumed drink in the world. The term "herbal tea" usually refers to an infusion of leaves, flowers, fruit, herbs or other plant material that doesn't include traditional tea leaves.

  • Connoisseurs tend to buy their tea in specialty shops for the quality and selection.
  • Infuse black tea with boiling water and let steep for three to five minutes.
  • Steep green tea in hot water at 80°C (176°F) for only two minutes.
  • Use strong tea blends or run the water through a filter when water has a high lime content.
  •  Store tea in a dry, tightly-closing container. Special metal or porcelain containers and opaque bags are ideal for this.
  • Don't keep tea for daily consumption in the refrigerator; the sensitive leaves can be damaged by fluctuations in humidity.
  • For long-term storage, place unopened tea in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator.
  • Always store the same type of tea in certain containers — otherwise tea will quickly pick up other flavours, which can ruin its subtle nuances.
  • Make lovely herbal teas with rose hips and mint. Depending on the season you can boost their flavour: in summer use lemon or lime peels (mint), in winter use cinnamon or cloves (rosehip).

Homemade lemonade

  • Whip up homemade lemonade by grating the peels of six organic lemons and boiling them with 300 millilitres (1 1/4 cups) sugar and about 500 millilitres (two cups) water. Simmer for a few minutes, cool and add the juice from the lemons.
  • Strain the lemonade concentrate and pour it into a glass pitcher. Fill it up with ice cubes and lots of cold water.
  • Limes and oranges are also great for making a refreshing drink.
  • Honey, ginger or rose water will give lemonade a unique flavour.

Healthy fruity drinks

Get more vitamins and minerals into your diet by drinking freshly-made fruit juices or whipping up thick and frothy smoothies from frozen fruit.

  • Make a delicious fruit drink by cutting up your choice of fruits and whirring them in a blender with the juice from half a lemon, along with 50 to 125 millilitres (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of sugar. Adjust the amount of sugar to the type of fruit and the sugar content of the juice.
  • For a fruit punch that will serve a crowd, pour a bottle of apple or grape juice into your punch bowl and cool for several hours, stirring several times. Shortly before serving, add another bottle of juice and a bottle of mineral water, followed by ice cubes.
  • Keep your punch cold by freezing slices of citrus fruits and using them in place of ice cubes.
  • Blend frozen fruit with a little plain yogurt, juice, milk and a touch of honey to make a frothy smoothie.

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