We may be nutritionists but here at Eatdrinklivewell we love a cocktail as much as the next person. Not so appealing are all the sugary, creamy mixers and syrups. With drinks, cocktails are probably the worst offenders for sugar calories and weight gain (see our guide to alcohol here).
Liquid calories are often considered the most dangerous; those found in soft drinks, syrups and large smoothies and juices. Their high fructose levels burden the liver and they’re rapidly absorbed spiking blood sugar levels – excess sugar in the body is dangerous so it’s a priority to get rid of it fast. The easiest way is storing it as fat. As a rough guide, for every soft drink, tonic water or juice ‘mixer’ there’re around 5 teaspoons of sugar and about 100 cals.
But it’s not all doom and gloom and there is no reason why we can’t enjoy a few drinks, it’s just worth taking a few damage-limiting precautions and making sure we’re not loading up on excess sugar. I would go so far as to say this daiquiri is actually good for us and won’t ruin all that hard work at the gym. It’s the perfect summer tipple as it is packed full of nutrients to protect against any sun damage and keep us hydrated.
Watermelons are one of the best things to have in hot weather as they’re rich in an antioxidant called lycopene that’s been shown to reduce UV damage by over 30 percent. They also have high levels of beta-carotene, another potent antioxidant that is stored under the skin and absorbs free radicals.
Watermelon juice acts more like an isotonic drink due to its hydrating salts, minerals and sugars so it’s the perfect companion to alcoholic drinks that can be dehydrating. Studies have shown it can be twice as hydrating as water.
Watermelons, as the name suggests, are mostly water – about 92 percent – but they are also packed with nutrients delivering more nutrients per calorie than many other fruits and boasts high levels of vitamins A and C along with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Plus, the seeds are rich in selenium and zinc so blending the fruit into a drink maximises the nutritional value.
Consumption of watermelons has been linked with improved heart health, anti-inflammatory properties, improved hydration, skin and hair benefits (as vitamins A and C encourage healthy growth of new collagen and elastin). Drinking watermelon juice has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after exercise due to improvements in circulation and watermelons can help reduce the risk of cancer, in particular prostate cancer.
If cocktails aren’t your thing, other delicious ways to add watermelons to your diet include our watermelon and watercress salad which is great on a summer’s day, or keep the kids hydrated with our watermelon ice lollies which are always a winner on a hot day.
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