Ice, Ice, Baby

An ice-cold drink on a hot summer day is one of life’s little pleasures. But who wants to be limited to plain old water cubes when there are so many fun, interesting and tasty ways to make ice cubes? Here are a few of my favorites, plus a word about that suggestion to drink your water ice-cold in order to burn more calories…

Blueberry Cocoa Smoothie - 3 Guiding Stars
Blueberry Cocoa Smoothie – 3 Guiding Stars

Let’s start with the simplest ice cube ideas and work our way up (though really, they are all easy to do)!

  • Juice cubes: Yep, just freeze your favorite juice (or lemonade) in your ice cube tray and use that in water or other drinks to add flavor and color with very few added calories. This is a great way to use up the last little bit of the juice you have on hand.
  • Smoothie cubes: Make too much fruit smoothie mixture? Make ice cubes out of the remainder—no waste, plus they are pretty!
  • Fruit cubes: Wash and puree (or mash with a fork) very ripe fruit (I suggest berries, peeled peaches, or seedless watermelon) and mix it with a little water, then freeze in the ice cube tray.
  • Herb & Citrus: Small springs of washed herbs (rosemary, mint, thyme or basil are tasty) plus thin little slices of citrus (wash well and keep the rind on for color and extra zing) make a refreshing, grown-up addition to iced tea, lemonade and water.

Now, about that cold water equals more weight loss thing…while there is some limited research that seems to indicate that drinking very cold water causes the body to burn a few extra calories, the effect is over in about an hour, and it’s not enough calories to warrant consideration. There are also studies that show no effect from the water temp. That being said, I know very few people who like to drink warm water on a regular basis, so drink it chilly if you like, but there’s no need to go out of your way to make it ice cold (though if you make some of the cubes above and keep them on hand, you’d be all set). The most important thing is to drink water. Period. Plenty of it (see my previous post on keeping hydrated). Enjoy the rest of your summer!