Water makes up to 55-60% of our body mass and is vital for most of the body's natural processes; these include flushing toxins, moistening oxygen for easier breathing, transporting nutrients in cells and maintaining electrical charge of cells. Dehydration can happen when water content drops by as little as 2%; this causes fatigue, headaches, brain fog, digestive issues and more.
We all know to avoid diuretics such as coffee, tea, soda and anything containing caffeine (this includes energy drinks and green tea). But is water any better? Of course it is, but some water (mainly municipal tap water) can “go right through” the body and by pass cells that desperately need hydrating. So how do we quench the thirst of these little cells?
Luckily there are ways to hydrate better and it's as easy as switching up what you pour into your glass or reusable water bottle each day. Try these drinks to ensure you are getting the most out of your water and that you are giving your body a fair shot at hydration.
Drink Freshly Squeezed Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Freshly squeezed juice is a great way to get all your vitamin goodness in, but it's also a great way to stay hydrated. In fact, juice has been found to be even more hydrating than water. A study done on hydration indexes of 13 common beverages showed orange juice to be of a higher hydration index than regular water (along with whole and fat-free milk). Juice does a great job in hydrating because the water in juice is already bound to essential vitamins and minerals so it can more easily integrate into your body. In fact, juice has been found to be even more hydrating than water. Celery juice in particular is full of natural “living” sodium and hydrates the body by balancing salt levels.
Just Add Lemon
Adding some lemon juice to your water not only tastes more refreshing, but it adds important minerals that aid in properly hydrating your body. Lemon juice is high in potassium and calcium, and these act as electrolytes and boost hydration. In addition, lemon water is amazing for morning detox and kick starts your liver for a successful day of digesting! Sounds appealing no?
Add Sea Salt
It may feel weird at first to be drinking salt water but contrary to popular belief, salt water does not dehydrate you; rather, it makes the water more absorbable and available for the body to use. Sea salt dissolves into an ionic solution in water, meaning the ions are electrically charged and can better help send and receive electrical messages throughout the body, including helping facilitate cell hydration. Because of the high mineral content and electrolytes present in the sea salt, it holds more water within your body so it can be properly absorbed as opposed to being flushed out. Add a pinch to a warm cup of water in the morning; your cells will thank you for it!
Try Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are known to calm the mind and soothe the soul, but did you know they also contain a significant amount of vitamins and minerals? Drinking herbal teas such as Peppermint, Chamomile, Nettle Leaf, and Fennel Seed have their benefits and they are also full of nutrients. Nettle leaf tea, for example, contains high amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C (more than 2X daily intake!), vitamin E, and beta carotene. These vitamins and minerals can aid dramatically in hydration and because herbal teas have virtually zero calories, it's good news all around.
Sip Coconut Water
There's a reason why coconut water is seen as a great post-workout drink. This is because of its high level of potassium which acts as electrolytes -- some even say it's like a healthier “sport's drink” alternative. There have been studies suggesting that coconut water isn't all it's “cracked up” to be, and compared to water, has the same hydrating effect. But, in comparison to tap water, coconut water is most likely the better choice in regards to a clean taste and getting additional nutrients in. In addition to potassium, coconut water contains magnesium, which relaxes muscles post-workout; it also contains amounts of phosphorous and iron.
If you're feeling the downs of dehydration, gives these drinks a try and give your body the hydration it deserves!
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