Water is critical to keeping us hydrated all year round. Remember the advice to drink eight glasses per day? However, the taste of water can leave you feeling bored and more interested in reaching for something like fruit juice or coffee. And when the average American is chronically dehydrated, this can make the problem even worse while also adding more calories into the daily diet.
Some products that promise water plus added electrolytes can also get expensive quickly. Instead, try sipping on all-natural alternatives. If you’re looking for a great way to stay hydrated, here are healthy drinks besides water:
Strawberries and mint (with water)
Instead of drinking water flavored with chemicals, you can add fresh fruit to a glass of water. In addition, adding mint will give you an additional boost of nutrients and leave you with fresh breath. It doesn’t simply have to be strawberries and mint: You can experiment with a range of herbs, like rosemary – which pairs well with grapefruit – or thyme, which is a tasty companion for lemon. Throw your ingredients into an ice tray and let them freeze overnight. You’ll get refreshing flavored water ready for your workday. Or to save a few dollars, use frozen fruit.
Chilled herbal teas
Tea offers hydrating power with great taste – but be careful when picking out teas. Some teas sound soothing, but a quick look at the ingredients list shows black tea leaves blended with other ingredients. That caffeine in the black tea can dehydrate you – so stick to herbal teas that use orange peel, peppermint and chamomile in their blends. Let them cool or toss a few ice cubes in your glass for a refreshing drink. If you can’t drink your tea without a little bit of sweetener, a drizzle of honey is just fine.
This fermented tea drink is a cross between a cup of your favorite herbal tea and a glass of seltzer. You can make your own Kombucha at home with four basic ingredients: sugar, water, tea and SCOBY, a yeast base that will transform the tea into a fizzy concoction. The sugar in this recipe from food blogger TheKitchn is for the yeast – much the way it is when you make a loaf of bread. You can choose herbal, black or green teas as your base when making Kombucha at home or you can grab a bottle from your local grocery store – just make sure to check that there are no additional ingredients slipped in to prolong the shelf life.
Another fermented drink to try, fire cider will be sure to wake you up in the morning. To make it, mix together ingredients like garlic, chili, turmeric and apple cider vinegar and let your final combo sit for six weeks. While it may taste a little unsavory, taking a tablespoon of it every few hours can help keep your sniffles at bay if you start to feel sick. Add that tablespoon to your seltzer if you’re looking for an extra dose of flavor.
Everyone’s favorite desert plant is also a tasty alternative to drinking water. The prickly pear, picked from a cactus, is pressed into a juice and offers a nice break from coconut water. Elle magazine noted that the final product is an antioxidant-rich beverage with a melon-like flavor.
There are so many varieties of these healthy drinks you can make – you’ll never feel bored sipping again. You can always pour your drink of choice into a Fit & Fresh to-go bottle to help you stay hydrated.