But it’s not just important that you drink; it’s also important what you drink. We’ve gathered 8 great low-calorie summer drink recipes that can help you stay cool and refreshed without sacrificing your waistline.
It might seem strange to list water on a list of summer drink recipes, but the truth is that water is just about the best thing that you can drink. With zero calories, it is the ultimate low-calorie drink, and drinking enough water has been shown to help people lower their caloric intake. It helps energize your muscles and keeps your skin looking healthy. It protects your kidneys and helps you avoid problems like kidney stones.
However, if you sometimes get tired of drinking straight water, try infusing it with fruit, vegetables, or herbs; try cutting up pieces of fruit like melon, strawberry, or lemon, and place the pieces into your water bottle. You can also use vegetables like cucumber, or herbs like basil and mint. Just let the water sit in the refrigerator and in no time you'll have an amazing, extremely low-calorie summer drink.
2. Low Calorie Lemonade
Lemonade may just be the quintessential summer drink. However, lemonade is often high in calories and filled with sugar. This low-calorie drink recipe from food.com gives you all of the taste, but with just a fraction of the calories.
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 teaspoon sugar substitute
Blend all ingredients in a blender. If needed, adjust sugar to your taste. Garnish with a wedge of orange, lemon, or lime. Serve with additional ice.
3. Watermelon Juice
Watermelon juice deserves a place in your summer drink recipe collection. It is quick and easy to make, and it’s an excellent thirst quencher. Although it is not quite as low-calorie as some of our other drink options, at least is not full of empty calories like sugary sodas. To make it lower calorie, reduce or omit the sugar.
- 4 cups watermelon (seeded and chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (omit to lower calories)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- salt (to taste)
- ice cubes
Blend all ingredients except the ice in a blender. Adjust the seasonings until it tastes right to you. Serve chilled over ice.
4. Coconut Water Smoothie
Coconut water is itself a low-calorie drink, and it can be a great ingredient in summer drink recipes. This next recipe is cold, refreshing, and only takes about 10 minutes to make.
- Coconut water (frozen)
- 2 mangos
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
Beforehand, pour the coconut water into ice cube trays and freeze. When the coconut water is fully frozen, just combine about a dozen coconut water ice cubes with the other ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve and enjoy.
5. Iced Herbal Tea
Iced tea's a great low-calorie summer drink, and if you pour it into a thermos, you can keep it cold and take it with you on the run. Just make your favorite brand of tea, then let it chill and enjoy. Alternately, if you like, you can make your own teas using herbs at home. There are a lot of great recipes online. A Delightful Home has gathered a great list of homemade tea recipes that you can peruse.
6. Homemade Milkshake
It's as if milkshakes were always intended for summertime. Even though a milkshake's the polar opposite of a low-calorie drink, sometimes you just might feel like you need one. For those times, try making your own milkshake at home. It will have far fewer calories and is much better for you.
Simply blend together regular milk and a lot of frozen fruit. Add just a little sugar or honey to sweeten (the less you use, the lower-calorie it will be), plus some vanilla. Enjoy!
7. Homemade Sparkling Fruit Juices
If the heat spikes your soda cravings (as it often will), try this low-calorie summer drink instead. Pick your favorite fruit juice, then mix it with an equal amount of sparkling water. Diluting the juice with sparkling water will help to reduce the calories, while using juice instead of soda will help your body to get better nutrition.
8. Honeydew-Kiwi Smoothie
This next summer drink recipe makes a great post-workout drink for those hot summer days. This beautiful green smoothie comes courtesy of fitnessmagazine.com.
- 2 cups honeydew (cubed)
- 1 small Granny Smith apple (cut, peeled and cored)
- 1 kiwi (peeled and cut up)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup ice cubes
Blend all of the ingredients except the ice, and process until smooth. Next, add the ice cubes and blend until it has a slushy consistency. Serve immediately.