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Drinking More Water

We know we should opt for water instead of sugary alternatives, but sometimes plain water isn’t what the palate begs for.

There are healthy ways to spruce up water so you will be more likely to reach for a glass.

Our bodies are composed of as much as 80% water when we are born, and are made up of about 70% water as adults. We need water to survive, and adequate water intake leads to benefits like healthier skin and even aids cognitive ability.

Too much water can lead to water intoxication, but when the body is dehydrated it cannot function at normal levels. Some signs of mild dehydration include a dry mouth, thirstiness, lightheadedness, headaches and dry skin.

You can get water from other food sources like fruits and vegetables, or combine foods with water for an interesting taste. Adding produce to your water can up the health benefits in your drink, too.

Instead of syrupy liquids or caffeinated beverages with zero nutrients, try adding fruit to water. Even without sweeteners, the extract from real fruit juice can flavor it just like the expensive store varieties. Favorite flavors can be mixed with seltzer or club soda as a substitute to soda. Herbal, non-caffeinated teas served hot or cold are good sources of water as well.

You can make your own flavored water with nearly any favorite ingredient. For instance, lemon slices can be steeped in boiling water and sipped to help ease an upset stomach. Also, slices of lime or squeezed blood oranges up the refreshment factor. Other sliced fruits like pineapples and kiwi work well, too.

Though it may sound strange, vegetables can be added to water also, or mixed in with fruits. Jamie Oliver’s recipe includes cucumber slices with strawberries or raspberries and is great chilled.

Another way to change up water is to put in a few drops of natural food oils. Spearmint or peppermint oils, or crushed fresh mint leaves release the oils and liven up chilled water.  Also, try combining natural chocolate oil essence for a delicious chocolate mint drink. Mint oils can also be brewed with chamomile or ginger root. Drinking this hot or cold can help with stomach issues.

If a sweeter taste is preferred, organic sweeteners can be added. Dropping in a small amount of pure vanilla extract can make water seem sweetened. Try freezing fruit purees in ice cube trays; they look neat in water and sweeten your drink as they melt.

For some additional ideas, check out smarterfitter’s 32 ways to naturally enhance water.

Think of flavors you prefer and experiment with how to incorporate them in water. Once you find a few mixtures you like, it becomes easier to get your daily servings in, and all without a plastic bottle.

20 Interesting and Useful Water Facts. 2004. Random Facts. Retrieved from: AllAboutWater.org
Image: 123rf.com

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