8 hydrating drinks for the summer when water gets a little too boring
Getting bored of your eight glasses of water a day? Here are some healthy, hydrating alternatives to pop into your water bottle.
When you’re thirsty, there’s nothing like the taste of a fresh, cold glass of water. However, when you’re drinking glass after glass of the stuff, let’s face it, it can get a little dull.
Nevertheless, many of us carry our water bottles everywhere we go; the importance of hydration has been firmly drilled into us by now. Studies have shown that proper hydration is essential for preventing disease, improving digestion and general day-to-day functioning and health. The European Food Safety Authority recommends drinking 2.5 litres of some type of fluid a day.
While water is widely known to be the best possible thing for hydration, there are other healthy drink alternatives that can keep you hydrated and provide a few other benefits, too.
Water with an effervescent tablet
When your workout water starts to feel a little blah, simply pop in an effervescent tablet to add some flavour and fizz to your water without detracting from any of the natural hydration of the drink.
You can find vitamin-infused effervescent tablets in your local supermarket that will also potentially give you an extra boost of your chosen vitamin.
Just be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the packet to prevent a vitamin overdose.
Fruit-infused water or soda water
Another way to get the same benefits from your water with added taste is to add some fresh fruit. Simply toss some berries or citrus fruit slices into a jug of water and leave it to infuse in the fridge overnight. In the morning, a refreshing, fruity drink will be waiting for you.
This water alternative will keep you hydrated — after all, it’s mostly water — while potentially giving you a small dose of the beneficial properties of the fruits that have been infused in your water. In fact, according to one 2018 study, fruit-infused water may be the best drink for hydration during exercise because it replenished the body’s lost salt and electrolytes.
Coconut water is widely thought to be more hydrating than water. With its high potassium content, coconut water can help to remove extra sodium from the body. If your body has a sodium imbalance, this can lead to dehydration. This is why many people recommend coconut water after a particularly sweaty workout.
As for the flavour of coconut water, it’s nutty, refreshing and slightly sour. It’s certainly an acquired taste – some people love it, others don’t.
Iced fresh fruit juice
While many store-bought juices are packed full of additional sugars and additives, fresh homemade juice is a healthy, hydrating beverage.
While you may not get all of the health benefits that come from simply eating a piece of fresh fruit, studies have begun to show that fresh pressed juice can improve folate and antioxidant levels.
Kombucha isn’t for everyone. The fermented drink contains tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. We know — it doesn’t sound great at first. But this flavoured drink has been shown to offer quite a few benefits.
For one thing, kombucha can help to regulate blood sugar levels. It is also a probiotic, which means it introduces ‘good bacteria’ into the gut. And, of course, like regular tea, it’s mostly water, so it will help to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Unsweetened iced tea
Tea is a wonderful way to stay hydrated, and in the summer months, unsweetened iced tea is a cool, refreshing, tasty water alternative. In fact, one 2011 study found that black tea is practically the same as drinking water when it comes to hydration.
To switch things up, swap your regular iced black tea for iced green tea or even iced berry tea.
For an fun water alternative, simply take your favourite cocktail recipe and remove the alcohol — chances are, you’ll be left with a pretty healthy, refreshing list of ingredients.
For instance, to make a virgin mojito, mix mint leaves and lime with soda water and crushed ice.
And while you probably shouldn’t be chugging them like water due to their natural sugar content, a glass in the afternoon makes a nice break.
Homemade smoothies are a healthy drink option that can also double as a snack or even an on-the-go breakfast. Simply toss some fruits or green vegetables into a blender along with some ice, fresh juice, water or oat milk and blend.
Milk, juice water and ice are all hydrating. Plus, fruits contain a large amount of water too, so you’ll definitely feel hydrated after a smoothie.
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