As a nutritionist, people constantly ask me what's the best supplement, food, or superfood they should include to achieve optimal health.
It's easy to get caught up in trying to find the perfect product, but we often miss one of the most crucial parts of our diet: good old-fashioned water.
You probably already know that about 70 percent of the human body is made up of water, and it’s absolutely essential to human life. Water is like a liquid shuttle that transports elements like nutrients, proteins, hormones, and other chemical signals to where they’re needed most in our bodies.
And yet many of us are dehydrated and don’t even know it, suffering from a number of health conditions when a few extra glasses of water might make a world of difference. After all, water helps to reduce pain, diminishes hunger, keeps our poop flowing, and sweeps toxins away.
But what do you do if you struggle to drink enough water on a daily basis, whether it's because you hate it or find it utterly boring?
Here are some of my favorite ways to give your hydration a healthy, enjoyable makeover:
1. Drink high-quality water.
If you can’t stand the taste of water, the type of water you’re drinking could be the culprit. Chemicals that cities add to water, such as chlorine and fluoride, can influence the flavor of water as well as interfere with our health.
Make sure you're drinking an unpolluted source of water, either from a natural spring or a water filtration system. You might find that drinking clean water makes a huge difference.
2. Toss in healing herbs.
Invigorate water’s flavor profile by infusing it with fresh herbs and spices. Peppermint, cinnamon sticks, ginger, lavender, rosemary, basil, and parsley are all lovely options and bestow a variety of anti-inflammatory and health benefits. Give ’em a try — but not all at once, of course.
3. Use fresh fruit.
Use a handful or two of fresh, seasonal fruit to give your water extra pizzazz and aroma. Berries, citrus, and stone fruits are loaded with sweetness, tang, and antioxidants that will help the water go down a whole lot easier. Plus, you can eat the fruits when you’re done — think of it like sangria!
4. Try food-grade essential oils.
For a quick flavor fix, add a few drops of food-grade essential oil to your water pitcher. This allows you to glean the flavor and health benefits if you’re not in the mood to chop fresh fruits and vegetables, or if your favorites are out of season.
Lavender, peppermint, and tangerine are my top choices, but feel free to explore your must-haves.
5. Choose herbal teas.
If you’re a tea fan, you’ll love this option. Herbal teas are delicious and they won’t dehydrate you like their caffeinated counterparts. Teas are wonderful for hydration because you can enjoy them both hot and cold, depending on the weather. Chilled herbal tea is also great as a base for smoothies.
6. Remember, fruits and veggies count.
Everyday fruits and vegetables are loaded with water — so if you’re consuming plenty of plants you’ll have no trouble meeting your daily water quota.
Cucumber, lettuce, celery, zucchini, tomato, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, broccoli, melons, and berries contain high amounts of water — but really, you simply can’t go wrong with most fruits and veggies.
7. Make it bubbly.
Don’t like flat water? Add bubbles! You can create your own carbonated water with a home sparkling water machine or purchase soda water at the store. Be careful with store-bought versions, though. Watch for any artificial flavors or colorings, as these definitely won’t support our health goals.
8. Pour water into a wineglass.
Transform drinking water from a dull task into an enjoyable treat by having fun with it! Pour any of the above water suggestions into your fanciest wineglass and sip with elegance (and maybe a friend or two). Let’s try to infuse our daily life and health with more fun!
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