Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8 fresh and refreshing ways to hydrate

I've worked with many clients who find meeting their fluid needs challenging because they just don't like plain water.  While I don't have a problem drinking plain water myself, I get it.  Food and beverage companies get this.  That's why you see an entire aisle in the grocery store solely dedicated to selling a variety of flavored waters or water flavor enhancers.  In fact, research suggests that palatable water actually stimulates more fluid intake.  While these products could get you drinking water, they may be loaded with liquid calories or unnecessary additives, not to mention they can be costly.  While it might be easier just to throw that whole water thing out the window, we just can't.  The body needs it since most of it is made up of water. Plus, water has so many valuable functions in the body from transporting oxygen and nutrients to the cells to temperature regulation.  Sometimes our bodies actually need more water, like when it's hot or humid out or when we're active or sick.  So, when I'm working with someone who dislikes plain water, we definitely spend some time coming up with ideas on how to meet fluid needs in spite of their distaste for water. We ultimately end up with some inexpensive and fun ideas like those below that will boost fluid intake without busting the calorie or financial budget.

Have you tried any of these?  Would you?  What would you add to the list?

Citrus:  Citrus is a great way to add a little tart, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor to your water.  You'll also get a little dose of immune-supporting vitamin C and fiber, if you actually eat the sliced fruit.  Here's a Spa Water recipe that incorporates several kinds of citrus fruits.

Cucumber:  Often served in water in Asian restaurants, cucumber adds a light and fresh taste to water.  Those cool cucumber slices could be used afterward to manage eye puffiness.  Check out this Refreshing Lemon-Cucumber Water recipe.

Mint:  Mint adds a soothing, cool flair to water.  Peppermint, in particular, has been used for easing tummy troubles, like bloating.  The oils in mint have also exhibited antimicrobial and antifungal properties, too.  Infuse this into your water, and you'll definitely feel like you've gotten the spa treatment.  Try this Cool Cucumber and Mint Water.  

Melon:  Watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe add the perfect lightly sweet flavor to water.  Eat what you don't use, and you'll load up on more water since melons are very high in water content.  Try this Cucumber Melon Spa Water.

Berries:  Try raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries or mix and match your favorites.  With a hint of sweetness, berry-infused waters are sure to please the taste buds.  Berries pair well with citrus fruits and/or herbs, like mint or basil.

Apples:  Apples work in sangria, so why not in water, too?  With so many varieties of apples, not only will your water taste good, but it will look amazing, too!  Sample this Orange and Green Apple Spa Water.  

Rosemary:  This aromatic herb will definitely beautify your water and your body with its immune stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties.  Give this Herb-infused Spa Water a shot. 

Ginger:  Added to many Asian dishes, fragrant and spicy ginger will definitely spruce up your water.  Ginger is well known for its ability to comfort a distressed gastrointestinal tract.  It also exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Try out this Cucumber-Ginger Water.      

Photo credits: skippyjon, JaredFrazer, xavi talleda, MinimalistPhotography101.com, sushiina, delphaber, ndrwfgg, Crystl via Flickr 


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