Water, one of my favorite things on the planet! We all need it, everyday, yet many of us find it difficult to get your minimum of “8 cups of water a day.” But the truth is, after reading this post, you will develop a new found love with the most abundant resource on earth!
The Health Benefits of Water
Now just to clear up any misunderstandings, yes you get water from many other sources besides just your direct drinking water. Meat, Veggies, Fruits, Milk, Juice, Tea, Coffee, Bread, Sauces, pretty much anything we consume contains some source of water, aside from alcohol. But, there’s nothing better for your health than drinking your water on the rocks, straight up, no chaser, as much as possible. This may sound familiar if you think back to your college days. But this time we are talking about something that won’t give you a pounding headache, add years to your appearance, intoxicate your liver, dehydrate you, make you do things you regret, or do you wrong in any way shape or form. It actually does all the opposites!
- Water flushes out your body of all the bad stuff. It gets rid of the all the toxins and makes sure the good stuff (nutrients) gets to the places they need to get to. It cleanses your liver, and works as a natural lubricant for your stubborn insides.
- Water helps you control your appetite. Virtually, water has zero calories, that’s right zero. Take advantage of this guilt free drink, because it’s basically the only one out there, that has no rules about consuming in moderation. Drinking a glass or two of water before meals is like the appetizer before your actual entree, except it’s like a ghost appetizer!
- Water is imperative for getting oxygen to your blood, muscles, and organs. Without oxygen, your cells cannot reach their optimal efficiency for keeping you in overall good health.
- Drinking more water has been linked to vitality, beauty, and youth. It helps hydrate your skin, hair, nails, every inch of you. Just think about a dehydrated prune, are they cute? Not so much, but a fresh hydrated voluptuous plum that is much more sexy!
Think about it..
Tips for Drinking more Water!
A Water Bottle YOU Like
Invest in a water bottle that you like, and in turn you will enjoy drinking from it! No I’m not talking about a Poland Springs bottle, I mean go out to a store or order a good one online! Make sure it is BPA free, because that stuff is horrid for your body. Although most water bottles you buy should be anyways, its better to be safe than sorry!
I personally own a Hydro Flask and absolutely love it. Hydro Flask not only makes awesome stainless steel insulated flask/bottle’s but they are overall a very good company. My bottle is purple and is the 40 oz, yes it is like the ultimate bottle on steroids!
<—-There she is, what a beauty!
Reasons why I invested in Hydro Flask:
- All Hydro Flask’s products are guaranteed for life. If anything breaks or does not work properly they will send you a replacement completely free of any charges. You just fill out a simple form and voila your item is replaced! I can vouch for this because a few times my cap broke and they sent me a brand new one!
- Their bottles are vacuum insulated which means the outside temperature does not affect the temperature of whats actually in the bottle, and absolutely no condensation! What does this boil down to? Either ice cold or boiling hot contents right in your flask for hours, if not days.
- The insides are stainless steal which obviously means BPA free, easy to clean, cannot be scratched or tainted, and does not absorb tastes, odors, or bacteria.
- Hydro Flask gives 5% back on all purchases to a charity of your choice. You can find these charities listed on their website. What a great company to support!
- You can check Hydro Flask out here http://www.hydroflask.com/
And no, I’m not talking about Crystal Light or Gatorade or Vitamin Water. I’m talking about homemade, all natural, healthful, easy as pie, flavored water.
My absolutely favorite thing in the world, is putting some kind of citrus and herb in my water to not only make it taste delicious and refreshing but give you all the benefits citrus and herbs have to offer. And trust me, it will not only change the way you feel about water but it will change your life!
When I say citrus this refers to real lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges!
Fun Fact: Did you know high doses of intravenous Vitamin C has been used to aid in the treatment of cancer, but is not currently approved by the FDA in the US?
Check out this link: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/highdosevitaminc/patient/page2
Now for the Herbs. Who doesn’t love herbs? They are just some of the most amazing creations put on this earth. I am in love with them, and you should be too! Herbs have so many great health benefits including great taste benefits! I will only talk about the herbs I usually put in my water.
Flavored Water Recipes!
Fresh Mint with Lemon or Lime
This is one of my absolute favorites! I love the refreshing taste of mint with citrus. You can find fresh mint in most grocery stores for less than $2. Look for the fuller bunches so you get more of your moneys worth. And look for leaves that are completely green and crisp, with no black or dark spots (this means they are old). Before putting mint sprigs directly into your water, bruise the leaves a bit by lightly rubbing the leaves firmly with your fingers. This excretes the oils in the leaves, which in turn excretes the flavor and health benefits! You can also buy mint tea bags that you can steep in hot or cold water, if you’re on the go or can’t get access to fresh mint. I love the Bigelow brand, “Mint Medley.”
In the summer your mint escapades can run rapid with all the crazy types of mint you can grow: chocolate mint, peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, lavender mint, and many more.
Fresh Cilantro with Lemon or Lime
This has to be my second favorite combination. Cilantro is a herb mostly used in Mexican cuisine and some Asian cuisine. If you have ever had fresh salsa at a Mexican restaurant and wondered what that peculiar, not sure if I like it taste was, Cilantro would be the culprit. I know many people who dislike the taste of Cilantro, my only advice is, it is an acquired taste to many. Keep trying it until you grow to love it, because it wreaks many health benefits!
It is a fairly cheap herb that you can buy fresh in almost any grocery store for usually less than $1. Again look for the biggest bunch, and avoid any that have dark slimy leaves or stems, cilantro is not very pleasant once it passes it prime. You can buy dried cilantro but I would not recommend that, it is not a “drying” or “preserving” herb, you really have to get it fresh.
Again when adding a few sprigs to your H20 you want to bruise the leaves lightly with your fingers. I usually chop off about 1.5 inches of the bottom stems just because they usually aren’t in the best of shape. But, you can use the stem trimmings to infuse flavor when cooking.
Fresh Parsley with Lemon or Lime or Grapefruit or Orange
Parsley is many times an afterthought, garnish, or just flat out pushed to the side. But it can be a great additive to water, and give it just a faintly fresh taste! You can buy most parsley for under $1 at most grocery stores. I prefer the Italian parsley vs. the curly parsley. Again I wouldn’t recommend to add it to water dried, you want fresh! When adding a few sprigs to your water gently bruise the leaves.
Fresh Basil with Lemon or Lime or Grapefruit or Orange
I absolutely love basil, it is so delicious and refreshing in every way possible. Basil tastes great when added to water. I’ve even crushed up some berries such as blueberries or raspberries to my basil lemon water, added a packet of Stevia and there you have an absolutely guilt free Basil Berry Lemonade to die for! Tastes amazingly great on a hot summer day.
But to keep it simple, you can find fresh basil in most grocery stores but it could be a bit more expensive like $2.50 or $3. I personally grow my own basil plant year round. Basil is very easy to grow indoors, and you can usually find a potted plant at a grocery store for about the same price as the already picked basil! Take advantage of this, and buy the cute little basil plant begging you to take it home to a sunny windowsill. It will repay you by flourishing fast and providing you with its abundant health benefits.
There are many other fruits, berries, roots, spices, and herbs you can add to water to spice it up a bit. You can go crazy with these delicious combinations! Try these other common ingredients in water:
Ginger- helps with digestion among many other health benefits
Cranberry concentrate (unsweetened)- prevents UTI’s and keep’s urinary tract healthy
Cinnamon Stick- tasty and can aid in lower blood pressure
Cherry Concentrate (unsweetened)- high in antioxidants, super-food
Pomegranate juice- high in antioxidants, super-food
Lavender- soothes and relaxes
Sage- improves memory and anti-inflammatory
Pineapple- important enzymes for digestion
Chamomile- helps you get to sleep, calming, helps stomach aches