Keep Your Cool with the Right Beverages at Jazz Fest

With temperatures rising and music filling the air at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated so you can enjoy all the fun under the sun.

So how much fluid do you need? It turns out you need half of your body weight in ounces, plus another 16 ounces for every pound of sweat you lose. That means you better keep those fluids coming throughout the day – anything without alcohol, that is. And if you can’t stand the taste of plain old water, try this tip: we tend to drink more of a beverage when it’s flavored, so water bottle add-ins can make it easier to stay hydrated.

But when it comes to Jazz Fest, or any other festival for that matter, there’s so many tempting beverages to choose from that it can make it hard to make the right choice on what might hydrate us the best. In one of my recent “Love it, Like It, Hate it” segments, I give my best & worst options when it comes to Jazz Fest beverages, helping you to stay cool and hydrated so you can dance to your heart’s content!

Love it!

Water. If you tend tend to drink more of a beverage when it’s flavored, you can add flavor & electrolytes with tablets like Nuun (7 calories, no artificial sweeteners).

Tea (e.g. Jazz Fest’s Rosemint Herbal Iced Tea, Ambrosia Berry Black Iced Tea; unsweetened).  Tea contains caffeine, which is a diuretic, but the amount of water in tea (as well as in coffee & caffeinated soft drinks) offsets the diuretic effects.

Like it!

Diet soft drinks. They’re hydrating, but contain artificial sweeteners.

Light beer.  Of all the types of alcohol-containing beverages, beer (particularly light beer) is among the least concentrated, with a lower percentage of alcohol (most have 4-6%), so it doesn’t have as much of a diuretic effect.  It’s still key, however, to alternate with non-alcoholic beverages – even with light beer.

Hate it!

Wine & sparkling wine. To be clear, there’s nothing at all wrong with wine or sparkling wine.  But with as much as 11.5 to 13% alcohol, even one or two glasses is enough to increase your risk for dehydration.

Frozen daiquiris.  With more than 800 sugary calories, frozen daiquiris can pack in more calories than an order of crawfish bread or a couple of meat pies!

For more details on this topic, watch Molly’s “Love it, Like it, Hate it” segment on WGNO New Orleans.

Molly Kimball

Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a Sports and Lifestyle Dietitian, Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics by the American Dietetic Association.  She... read more