You're hot, sweaty, and looking for something to quench your thirst. Anything in liquid form will do, right? Not so fast—turns out, there are a few drinks out there that can actually make your dehydration worse. Here, 3 beverages you should definitely turn down on a hot summer day. (Click here for free weight loss tips and slimming recipes delivered straight to your inbox!)
You know soda increases your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poor dental health down the road, but soft drinks can also contribute to a more immediate health risk: dehydration (take a look at these 9 crazy things dehydration does to your body).
New research from the American Physiological Society found that using soft drinks to rehydrate actually worsens dehydration and increases kidney injuries, compared to plain water or water sweetened with stevia. Though the study was performed on rats, researchers say the findings still raise serious concerns for people who regularly quench their thirst with soda. If you're still craving something sweet and bubbly on a hot day, add some fresh fruit to a glass of seltzer water, such as one of these slimming sassy water recipes.
Despite how enticing a frosty mug of beer may seem, alcohol of any kind is the last thing you should reach for. Because it's a diuretic, "alcohol contributes to increased urine output, which ups the risk of dehydration," said Heather Mangieri, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you're really in the mood for a cold one, opt for a water chaser, she suggests. Taking a sip of alcohol followed by a sip of water can help stave off dehydration (and a nasty hangover the next day).
COFFEE OR TEA
It used to be that any kind of caffeine was thought to increase the risk of dehydration. But it turns out that if you regularly consume caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea, you're in the clear. "For consistent caffeine drinkers, beverages like iced tea or coffee can actually contribute to your daily fluid intake," Mangieri said.
But if you've never felt the sweet buzz of an iced latte, a hot day isn't the time to experiment. "For non-caffeine drinkers, caffeinated beverages will have a more pronounced effect, especially on a hot day," Mangieri said. (Trade your morning cup for these 8 delicious coffee smoothies.)
But there's still a limit for coffee and tea connoisseurs on steamy summer afternoons. "If you're using caffeinated drinks as your only fluid source, I'd say that you need to drink some water," she said. (Check out these 5 signs you've had too much caffeine.)