If you are like most Americans, you struggle to satisfy your daily fluid requirements. You are either too busy, too inattentive, or merely uninterested in the flavor of the water. Nevertheless, adequate hydration is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, and water is the most effective means of hydration.
There are numerous reasons why consuming more water should be at the top of your to-do list, ranging from maintaining healthy bowel function to promoting a healthy epidermis and regulating body temperature. “Each and every cell in your body requires water to function. The benefits of remaining hydrated are extensive, ranging from preventing infections to optimizing your metabolic rate, and can even enhance sleep quality and mood.
75% of Americans are dehydrated, and even moderate dehydration can have negative effects on vitality, mood, and cognitive performance. But what is your water requirement? Eight cups per day is a reasonable rule of thumb, but your needs will vary significantly depending on your age, level of physical activity, weight, health condition, and climate. For instance, if you regularly exercise, you will need to increase your water intake. If you are at risk for certain medical conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, consuming a gallon of water per day could be harmful; therefore, you should observe your doctor’s instructions.
If you determine that you need to increase your daily water intake but strongly detest the taste of water, here’s how to remain hydrated: Maintain the interest! Water alone is not the only means to meet daily requirements. Experts in nutrition recommend incorporating these top healthful beverages into your daily routine.
Top Healthiest Drinks
1. Flavored Sparkling Water
Water, but with carbonation! flavored sparkling water is just as hydrating and healthful as ordinary water. According to Mascha Davis MPH, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of Eat Your Vitamins, the best alternatives to water are limited in sugar or sugar-free. Davis adds that some varieties are also fortified with prebiotics, which can nourish the beneficial intestinal flora. If you want to cut down on soda or alcohol, try creating an effervescent mocktail with flavored seltzer water or club soda.
This beverage is fermented with water, tea, sugar, microbes, and yeast. It is naturally abundant in probiotics, which help restore the balance of beneficial intestinal flora. When you consume kombucha, you consume beneficial microorganisms that promote digestion and overall gastrointestinal health. While kombucha is not a magical elixir, it is an excellent alternative to alcoholic beverages that can contribute to your hydration requirements, according to Nicole Rodriguez, RDN. You should avoid kombucha products with artificial flavors and excessive added carbohydrates; instead, search for phrases like “naturally fermented” to ensure that you’re purchasing minimally processed kombucha.
3. Green Tea
“Green tea is an excellent choice for its health benefits, and it may also aid in blood sugar regulation and metabolic health. It also contains antioxidant catechins, a type of flavonoid that shield the body from free radicals and delay the aging process.
If you are searching for a coffee substitute, this may be your best option. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, allowing you to avoid adverse effects such as jitters and migraines while maintaining stable energy levels.
If you’re constantly on the move, keeping a smoothie on board can help you stay hydrated and nourished. You can make these dense, creamy beverages by blending your beloved fruits and vegetables with nutritious protein and fiber sources.
“When creating a smoothie, consider protein, fat, fiber, and flavor,” advises Rodriguez. In addition to carbohydrates from fruit or vegetables, the foundation of your smoothie should be a muscle-building protein, such as yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, or whey protein. Then, add a plant-based source of fat and fiber, such as nut butter and chia seeds, along with a flavorful component, such as cocoa powder, to create a tasty, nutrient-dense smoothie.
5. Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is prepared from the vibrant pinkish-red leaves of the hibiscus flower and has a tart, yet refreshing flavor. Rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids, this tea can aid in disease prevention and immune support. In fact, according to one study, consuming just one cup of coffee per day may lower blood pressure.
Purchase desiccated hibiscus flowers at your next grocery store, pour scalding water over the flowers, and let them steep for five minutes. Then, strain, add sugar, and savor. Before incorporating herbal infusions into your diet, always consult your physician if you are breastfeeding, expectant, or taking medications.
6. Coconut Water
Coconut water is a popular source of hydration with a pleasant, earthy flavor. In addition, it contains electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which aid in maintaining fluid balance. “This is a great beverage choice for a post-workout boost.
If you don’t enjoy the flavor of coconut water on its own, Sassos suggests incorporating it into smoothies or mixing it with effervescent water.
7. Low-fat and fat-free milk
Both low-fat and fat-free milk are inexpensive and nutritionally complete. Milk is one of the finest sources of calcium, which your body requires to maintain healthy bones. In addition, it is rich in essential nutrients such as B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin K. “Low-fat and fat-free milk are both excellent sources of 13 essential nutrients and provide a balance of protein and carbohydrates. If milk typically upsets your digestion, look for lactose-free versions of these hydrating marvels in the dairy aisle.
In addition to consuming it directly, hot cocoa can be made with milk. Cocoa contains energy-boosting caffeine, “feel-good” hormone-boosting endorphins, and antioxidant-rich polyphenols. To prepare, combine a teaspoon of cocoa powder with your favored heated milk, a pinch of cinnamon, and your preferred sweetener, and stir.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage with an acidic, creamy flavor and consistency similar to that of a palatable yogurt. It contains more microorganisms than many other fermented dairy products and is a source of essential nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, all of which promote healthy bones and a healthy heart. Given its probiotic content, kefir has been shown to promote a healthy immune system and even modulate the immune system to suppress viral infections, according to Sassos.
A one-cup serving of kefir contains 10 grams of protein, which will help you feel full. Low in lactose, this is an excellent milk substitute for those with lactose intolerance. Pour a serving of kefir and consume it on its own, or use it as a base for a breakfast parfait. It makes an excellent homemade salad vinaigrette as well!
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