Drinking 8-10 8 ounces of bottles water every day sometimes seems more like a chore than an enjoyable experience. Don’t get me wrong….I surely love an ice cold glass of water. (especially after eating peanut butter) 😉 Sadly in the past I had loaded up on liquid calories between sugary energy drinks, sodas, juices…but now, I have discovered some healthy alternatives to water that I frequently add to my daily intake of H2O. Although water is the most essential nutrient to maintaining life, healthy alternatives to water can provide hydration while offering more appealing textures and flavors to mix things up a bit!
My personal favorite: Coconut Water
An 8-ounce serving of coconut water straight from the shell provides significant quantities of electrolytes. This cold nutty beverage includes only 46 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates per 8-ounce serving. Coconut water hydrates the body while providing other beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids.
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Ginger Spice:
is super tasty chilled or served warmed with a cinnamon stick in the winter. Apple cider vinegar is great for digestion, detox, appetite regulation and energy.
Buying the drinks themselves can definitely add up in price, a good alternative is to buy a big jug of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (also great in kale salad dressings mixed with a little sugar free maple syrup). Pour one to two teaspoons of vinegar in 1 cup of water and sweeten with liquid stevia or honey, add fresh pressed ginger or cinnamon if you desire.
Tea or Green Tea
Tea is a healthy alternative to water with a few drawbacks. Tea comes in a variety of natural flavors to appease anyone’s taste buds. This calorie-free beverage contains antioxidants which have a multitude of positive affects in the body including boosting the immune system and fights cancer cells. Unfortunately though, tannins, a type of antioxidant present in teas, may prevent the absorption of calcium in the food you consume with your tea. Furthermore, some teas contain significant amounts of caffeine. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which may promote dehydration. Decaffeinated teas are available to assist in hydrating your body. Limit or omit adding sugar or flavoring to your tea, as this will increase the calorie content.
Infused water consists of water with added fruits, herbs or vegetables. Don’t confused this with flavored water that you find at the local grocery store as some of it include added sugars. Infusing your own water at home with limes, lemons, oranges, cucumbers, mint or ginger provides a healthy alternative to plain water. These herbs can enhance a pitcher of cold water with natural flavors and add antioxidants to your beverage and provide a much needed break from unflavored water.
And the most fun non-liquid option….
Watermelon, only the best summer fruit, quenches your thirst and assists in replenishing your body fluids (imagine a cold fresh piece after a long mile run) Studies show that, ninety-two percent of watermelon is water. But, watermelon provides texture, flavor and packed full of vitamins and antioxidants, not naturally found in drinking water. Watermelon is also super versatile, you can eat watermelon in slices or balls or liquefy it for a refreshing beverage.