Do You Drink Enough Water?
UPCOMING EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
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Now onto todays blog…
Let's face it-chronic low-grade dehydration is a big problem in the United States. It is especially a problem when you are trying to lose weight. You may not be aware, but studies show that, at any given time, between 20 to 35% of US adults are actively "dieting." Because of this, having tips and hints to help maintain proper hydration levels becomes even more important.
Helpful Hydration Hints
Without enough water in the body, cells get congested, skin can't detox, and the bladder and kidneys won't work properly. You'll feel tired and eat more too. Often, when you feel hungry, your body is really telling you that you are dehydrated. Try drinking a glass of water before you reach for a snack.
Benefits of Staying Hydrated
- Combats fatigue
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Alleviates allergies and asthma
- Makes your skin, joints, and digestive system healthier
- Flushes out unwanted bacteria from the bladder and kidneys
- Slows the aging process
- Aids in circulation
- Helps regulate the body's cooling system
If you find drinking water to be monotonous or boring, here are a few ways to liven up your hydration without adding calories.
Most herbal teas add flavor without adding calories, especially if you don't add sugar. There are great caffeine-free tea flavors, such as peach, blueberry, and apple. Brew some and chill it or drink it hot. You can also steep mint, ginger, or licorice tea until highly concentrated and add it to your water for a little zip.
Peel a raw cucumber and add slices to a pitcher of water for a refreshing spa-like beverage. Not only does the cucumber flavor infiltrate the water, some of the cucumber's nutrients do as well, including vitamins C, A, and K, iron, calcium, and potassium. Munching on the cucumber slices can help you maximize your vitamin and nutrient intake. Add a few crushed mint leaves to your water to give it a cool, fresh taste, or try some basil if you prefer something zestier. Simmer a cinnamon stick in one cup of hot water and let cool. Mix the concentrate with cold water and keep chilled. Serve over ice and garnish as desired.
Buy a water infuser and add some fresh fruit from the approved list (berries, grapefruit, apples, pears). Add the fruit to the strainer at the center of the infuser and let the fruit flavors steep into the water in the pitcher. Remove the fruit when you have reached the amount of flavor you prefer. You can also freeze sliced citrus fruit, such as limes, lemons, clementine's, or even berries, and use it as ice cubes.
Add a few drops of your favorite organic essential oil to cold water or iced tea. When choosing a strong flavor such as peppermint, start with one drop and add to taste. You also can combine flavors for more complex beverages, such as one drop of sweet orange/ one drop of cinnamon, or one drop of ginger/one drop of lemon.
Infused Water Recipes
Now it's time to play with your water. Try ginger tea with a burst of cinnamon, or cucumber with a hint of basil. Another nice combination is mint leaves with frozen berries. Here are a few suggestions for flavor combinations using the techniques outlined above.
Lemon and Cucumber
Tart lemon and cool cucumber pair well together. Add lemons to your water infuser or freeze some slices to use as ice cubes. Add sliced cucumbers and keep chilled.
Strawberry and Basil
Flavorful, colorful strawberries and basil are a perfect pairing. Basil can overpower the strawberries, though, so add the basil gradually until the flavor is right for you. Basil provides iron and strawberries give you a jolt of vitamin C.
You can add mint leaves to your water for subtle flavor. If you want something more complex, combine mint leaves with strawberry, raspberry, or lime ice cubes. Cucumber and mint are another nice combination you can try.
Watermelon and Jalapeño
Freeze chunks of watermelon to use as ice cubes. Add thyme and as many sliced jalapeño peppers as you dare (by including the seeds, it will increase the heat). This spicy combination gives you the added benefit of vitamins A and C from the watermelon and capsaicin from the jalapeño. Note: Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling jalapeños.
Apples and Cinnamon
Add apples to your infuser or use frozen apple slices as ice cubes. Brew a cinnamon stick as previously described and add it too. Garnish with some lemon slices if you like it zestier. Remember to go lightly on the apples because they can slow down weight loss for many people.
Blueberries, Lemon, and Mint
This dynamic combo gives you the antioxidant power of blueberries and mint. Throw everything together in a pitcher and let it steep overnight in the refrigerator. Keep chilled.
Try pairing melon and lime for some subtle flavor. You can also combine frozen honeydew cubes with frozen lime slices for a refreshing beverage. If you like it zestier, you can boost the citrus flavor with a drop of lemongrass oil.
Combine frozen slices of your favorite citrus, such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges. Add mint, basil, or even cilantro leaves for a flavorful twist.
Peel and slice a 2- to 3-inch piece of ginger root, add one cup of water, and heat in water until just boiling. Turn off the heat and steep for at least 30 minutes. Add to a pitcher of cold water and use frozen raspberries, blueberries, or lime slices as ice cubes. Stir and let chill overnight.
Once you've mastered these techniques, keep pre-flavored, chilled water in your refrigerator so it's always available. The flavor combinations are endless, and your water will never be boring again. More importantly, maintaining proper hydration, an essential part of health and weight loss, will be an absolute breeze.
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