Did you know that we lose nearly 5-7 liters of water every few hours through urine and perspiration? So it is a good idea to drink plenty of water in order to replenish the lost fluids. Experts recommend drinking between 8 to 10 tall glasses of water every day. After all; our bodies are made of 75% water and it is needed to keep the organs functioning to their full potential. The fact is: not everyone likes drinking plain water. Some people actually report feeling ‘sick’ after drinking too much water. While it is important to pay attention to how the body feels, it is also important to keep one’s self hydrated—and even more so if you workout or live in a hot climate. So here are 6 refreshing drinks that can be used to replace water. Remember: nothing can replace pure water but these choices come closest to it!
Lemon water is nothing but water mixed with a few drops of lemon juice. If you do this on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, you will really get those bowels moving! Add fresh lemon/lime juice to a tall glass of warm water. A few drops of honey will make the drink even more refreshing. Drink this refreshing drink every day and see the difference in your skin! You can also sip lemon water throughout the day especially before meals. This can curb appetite and help digestion. Lemon water also makes the body alkaline and balances the pH of the body.
Herbal teas (without milk and sugar) are the best drinks to re-hydrate in the wintertime, especially if you hate drinking plain water. One of the best herbal teas is chamomile tea. A cup of warm chamomile tea at bed time can give you a great night’s sleep as it relaxes the nerves. Ginger tea is also great - it soothes heartburn, prevents nausea and curbs motion sickness. To make herbal tea, simply steep the herb of your choice in hot water for 7-10 minutes. Some other popular herbal teas are lavender tea, raspberry leaf tea, peppermint tea, Echinacea tea, etc. The key is to drink these teas without any sweetening agent; this will keep your calorie intake low. Teas like Echinacea, Green tea and Matcha tea have many health benefits: they boost immunity, reduce belly fat, fight colds and coughs and also provide antioxidants to fight free radicals.
Coconut water is the elixir of life; it has literally helped save many shipwrecked people from dehydration and death. Coconut is hailed as a superfood these days and more and more physicians in the West are recommending coconut oil and coconut water to prevent obesity, fight Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and several other lifestyle diseases. You can safely consume water from 2-3 tender coconuts every day. This water contains a host of electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. That is why doctors recommend coconut water to people suffering from dehydration or diarrhea. The natural water replenishes lost electrolytes, fluids and salts and instantly energizes the body. It is a biologically pure drink that contains natural sugars and salts to fight fatigue. Coconut water is low in fat, acidity and cholesterol, and is thereby more nutritious than milk. It is good for feeding infants and can help people suffering from vomiting, typhoid, malaria, fevers and other ailments.
You can literally flush out toxins by drinking infused water or detox water. Many celebrities including Dr. Oz, Kim Kardashian and Jillian Michaels have touted the health benefits of detox water. This is the water made by adding fruits and vegetables to plain water and letting it ‘sit’ for a few hours. The best fruits/vegetables to add to water include cucumbers, grapefruit, mint, lemon, oranges, berries, etc— you can add any vegetable or fruit you love. Avoid using bananas and mangos; citrusy fruits work best. Fruits and vegetables impart a pleasant taste to plain water, making it healthier and tastier. Water infused with lemon and cucumber slices not only make it more refreshing and tasty; they also impart alkalinity to it. This balances the pH of the body and reduces the effect of free radical damage. Drinking alkaline water before meals can prevent many health issues.
A glass of real fruit or vegetable juice provides you with tons of vitamins, minerals and some amount of fiber. It also tastes delightful. Juices can also work as an energy fix and an eye opener in the morning. A small glass of orange juice post breakfast can prevent scurvy—a disease caused from vitamin C deficiency. The downside to choosing fruit/vegetable juices over water is that they can quickly add a hefty dose of calories. Juices contain a lot of sugar; a single 12-ounce serving can equal the calorie intake of 3 chocolate-chip cookies. That is an awful lot of calories to consume if you just want to quench your thirst. If you enjoy drinking juices, dilute them with plain water or sparkling water. Vegetable juices might be healthier than fruit juices but always check labels to be sure. Also be mindful of the sodium content –many vegetable juices can contain an entire day’s worth of sodium in a single serving.
Milk is also healthy, although some may beg to differ! Buttermilk is a great replacement for milk and water. Since all the fat and sugars are out of buttermilk, it is safe even for lactose intolerant people. Buttermilk is an excellent source of protein. It also contains B vitamins, calcium and potassium with trace amounts of phosphorus. As per Ayurveda, buttermilk is a great digestive aid and particularly beneficial for people with a sensitive stomach. The antioxidants in buttermilk fight free radicals and help in lowering cholesterol. You can use buttermilk in cooking for tenderizing meat and in place of water in baking cakes or breads. Safely consume 2-3 glasses of plain, unsweetened buttermilk every day!
Most people do not drink enough water and reach out for sodas, sports drinks or coffee instead. However, nothing can replace water. Water curbs the appetite, flushes out toxins and clears your mind. When you are dehydrated, you do not work efficiently. So get into the habit of drinking water or at least one of the fluids from the list above!
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