Water constitutes 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 smooth breathing, transporting nutrients and maintaining the electrical charge of cells. Dehydration can occur when water content drops by as little as 2%; this causes fatigue, headaches, brain fog, digestive issues and more.
Diuretics such as coffee, tea, soda and anything containing caffeine (this includes energy drinks and green tea) can contribute to dehydration, but is water any better? Yes, but some water (mainly municipal tap water), can ‘go right through’ the body and bypass cells that desperately need hydrating.
Luckily, there are ways to better hydrate 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 that you are giving your body a fair shot at hydration.
Drink Freshly Squeezed Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Freshly squeezed juice is full of vitamins, but it's also a great way to stay hydrated. A study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition focused on hydration indexes of 13 common beverages and ranked orange juice higher than regular water. The water in juice is naturally bound to essential vitamins and minerals, which increases the effectiveness of absorption into the body. Celery juice in particular is full of natural sodium and provides the unique benefit of balancing salt levels in the body.
Just Add Lemon
Adding lemon juice to your water not only adds a refreshing taste, but it also offers important minerals that aid in properly hydrating your body. Lemon juice is high in potassium and calcium and both act as electrolytes that boost hydration. Lemon water is also amazing for a morning detox to kick start your liver for a successful day of proper digestion.
Add Sea Salt
Sea salt dissolves into an ionic solution in water. Ions are electrically charged to deliver nutrients throughout the body and facilitating cell hydration is just one of many benefits. Due to the high mineral content and electrolytes present in sea salt, it helps maintain water within the body to enable proper absorption rather than 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 are full of nutrients. Nettle leaf tea, for example, contains high amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C (more than two times the daily intake!), vitamin E, and beta carotene. These vitamins and minerals can aid significantly 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. Its high levels of electrolytes like potassium balance the body’s alkalinity, delivery nutrients to the cells and ensure effective elimination. Coconut water also contains high levels of magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. In comparison to tap water, coconut water is likely the better choice with regards to clean taste and additional nutrients.
Provide your body with the hydration it deserves by giving these drinks a try!