Drinking more water is one of those health goals we all seem to have. How many times have you declared to yourself “I solemnly swear I will drink 5 of these bottles full of water a day?”
We know it’s better for us, but why is it so difficult for many to drink enough water? Often, it’s because people just don’t love drinking water. Totally fair, it can be boring, but you still need to stay hydrated somehow.
Many signs of dehydration, such as feeling thirsty, are obvious but others are more subtle and are sometimes misattributed. A few common subtle signs of dehydration:
- Feeling hungrier than usual. This is because hunger and thirst signals come from the same area of the brain so we often confuse the two.
- Experiencing headaches. This is a common symptom of dehydration and one that is often associated with hangovers.
- Feeling dry. If your hands, lips, hair or eyes are dry this could be your body begging for hydration.
- Muscle fatigue. Muscles can spasm, cramp or feel generally weak when lacking hydration.
- Stinky breath. Yep, just drinking more water can make your breath better. This is because saliva has bacteria fighting properties but when you are dehydrated your body doesn’t produce enough saliva for it to fully do its job. When saliva levels go down, so do your bodies natural abilities to fight off germs that lead to stinky breath.
Can we get all the hydration we need without drinking that much water? Yep, and it can be pretty easy and pretty tasty. If you’re struggling to stay hydrated, we’ve got some tasty drinks to try that will spice up your H2O intake. Now that’s not to say you should replace good old water. Water should still be your go-to drink in general and especially when working out.
Replace a few glasses of water here and there with some of our top picks below and you’ll be on your way to hydration nirvana, and um... perhaps the restroom too. The only down side of staying well hydrated? More trips to pee.
We don’t know exactly why, but something about those bubbles is just oh-so-satisfying and so much better than still water. Maybe it’s the audible pop of the can as you open it or that bubbly texture, but something about it is just so much more interesting. Of course there are many flavored varieties which make it all the better. Just be sure to check for added sugars, real or fake, and to avoid both.
This one is kind of like sparkling water: really not too different from plain water but that little touch of fruit feels refined and brings back memories of summer brunches under the sun.
If you’re new to infusing water, it’s very simple. Cut up your favorite fruits and fresh herbs and let them soak in a pitcher or bottle of water. Infuse for one to two hours at room temperature or for three to four hours in the fridge. You’ll want to remove fruits and herbs after four hours, but you can keep the water for up to three days.
Infused water is a great way to use up citrus that is nearing overripe status before it is too late, and a great way to get extra vitamin C in your diet. Pro-tip: Slice a piece of citrus and keep it in a storage container in your fridge. Each time you pour a glass of water or fill a reusable bottle to go, grab a slice, squeeze some juice into your water and then pop the remainder of the slice into your water to continue infusing as you drink.
If you like aromatherapy, you will love taking a deep breath over your peppermint teas as it steeps. Peppermint tea smells amazing, has relaxing qualities, tastes delicious and as a bonus it is soothing to the digestive system and can help sooth tummy rumbles. Many find peppermint tea to be mood boosting as well as relaxing. It’s especially nice after a meal to calm your tummy and in the evening as you wind down for bed.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been around for centuries but has only recently made its way to American shelves. A few years ago you’d have to go to Whole Foods to find it, but now you can find it at most grocery stores, at farmers markets, many convenience stores and even lots of breweries. If you’re out for drinks with friends, it is a healthy alternative to beer!
The taste of this carbonated goodness is best described as a very lightly sweetened fruit soda. But unlike soda, kombucha has many nutrients and healthy properties. Many kombuchas are packed with B12 vitamins that boost energy and probiotics that aid digestion.
Just be sure to choose your kombucha carefully. Not all are created equal and some have high amounts of sugar.
And finally, smoothies! Smoothies pack a mean punch with tons of nutrition, fiber and hydration. Smoothies are versatile, portable and filling. They can serve as a meal replacement when filled with good fats from foods such as avocado and peanut butter, plus protein powder. They can serve as a light refreshing snack when made with fruits like strawberries and banana. And they can even be delicious desserts. Think frozen banana plus almond butter and cocoa powder with cacao nibs and chopped almond sprinkled on top for crunch! The smoothie options are endless and their hydrating properties are undeniable.
You might have noticed one trendy drink that’s missing from this list. Juices have been all the rage but are not healthier than eating fruit whole or blended into a smoothie. While they contain the fruits vitamins and minerals, they lack fiber that help you digest the fruit’s sugars.
So skip the juices, soda and sports drinks, and pick up a sparkling water, infused water, peppermint tea, kombucha or smoothie to supplement your water intake and stay hydrated all day long.
-written in collaboration with Juliette Lauer