Keeping hydrated is particularly important in warm weather. It is also important to pay attention to the types of beverage you choose to consume.

For many of us, summer is filled with refreshing smoothies, cocktails and cans of fizzy drinks. But what are these drinks actually doing for our bodies.

Soft drinks

It is worth bearing in mind that soft drinks have been directly associated with obesity, and once you look at them closely it’s no surprise. Not only are they packed with empty calories which won’t satiate your hunger, but they’re also overloaded with sugar.

Flavoured water

You might think flavoured water would boast more vitamins than normal water, but the only thing you’ll be getting extra of is sugar. If you are in need of hydration and need a little bit of something to satisfy the taste buds then it is worth taking a bit of time to consult the label to find an option that won’t expand your waistline. Ideally, you are looking for a bottle with just water and natural flavours on the label.

Juice drinks

Don’t let the word ‘juice’ fool you. Juice drinks or juice cocktails are usually little more than flavoured sugar water with a hefty dose of colouring thrown in. In order to find juice that is truly healthy, you need to be looking for beverages that are 100% juice and not made from concentrate.

Diet soda

Many of us think of diet soda as the healthier alternative to regular fizzy drinks. Whilst it’s true that it does often have zero calories, it also has no nutritional benefits. For hydration purposes you should be opting for water as your drink of choice, but if you’re craving a fizzy hit then go for carbonated water instead.

Smoothies

You might be surprised to find smoothies on this list seeing as they’re blended with fruit and veg, but it’s important to remember that any food in excess is bad for you. While smoothies can be a terrific meal or snack solution, they are not the way to hydrate your body. All too often, people make fruit-based smoothies that are hugely calorific and do not contain enough vegetable elements to make them diverse in nutrients. Smoothies can often add up to 700 calories worth of fruit in a single sitting, while shop-bought smoothies are even worse due to their astronomical sugar content.

Sports drinks

Sports drinks might be marketed as a post-workout health boost, but most of them are packed with artificial sweeteners and additives. The main benefit of sports drinks is their ability to replace electrolytes which are lost during exercise. But when consumed to excess, they can also increase calorie intake and undermine the hard work carried out during the exercise period.

Energy drinks

Many of us indulge in energy drinks for a caffeine hit when we’re tired, but the issue is that these drinks contain far too much caffeine and sugar to be considered healthy. To avoid the rush-and-crash of energy drinks, make green tea your caffeine source instead.

Lemonade

There’s a reason why homemade lemonade and shop-bought lemonade taste so different, and that reason is sugar. Whilst traditional lemonade is quite tart and refreshing, canned lemonade is essentially just another soft drink, packed with sugar and preservatives and boasting an average of 100 calories per cup.

Elaborate coffees

Here in the UK, there will inevitably be some rainy days this summer which will leave you craving coffee more than cocktails, but be mindful of what kinds of coffee you’re enjoying. A coffee from a high street chain, topped with milk, sugar and (in some cases) even whipped cream can contain up to a whopping 170 grams of sugar and a third of your daily saturated fat.

Alcohol

We all know that too much alcohol is bad for you, but what are the worst boozy drinks for staying healthy this summer?

Frozen cocktails

Frozen cocktails are just as bad for their mixer content as they are for their alcohol levels. A 16 ounce pina colada can contain up to 880 calories due to the sugary nature of all the creamy juices inside!

Hard spirits

One or two drinks a day has actually been found to be good for your health in certain ways, such as raising good cholesterol levels and increasing blood flow. But spirits in excess can be hugely detrimental to your health. Studies have found that the risk of cancer is 36% greater in those who drink three or more drinks a day.

For fast and discreet advice on staying healthy this summer, contact the team at Express Pharmacy. You can reach an experienced pharmacy member via our Live Chat tool or by calling 0208 123 0703.