I have a habit that I've been trying to break for years. Every single day, I wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, eat lunch, and go to work. Sometime in the afternoon, my head suddenly gets a dull headache and my body becomes exhausted. After blaming my headache on a plethora of unrelated things-- lack of sleep, stress, or whatever comes to mind-- I always come to the same realization that I have been avoiding all day. Yikes… I haven't had ONE sip of water.
You see, there is nothing more stubborn about me than my constant refusal to stay hydrated.
For some reason, I just find water to be so bland and boring. If regular ol' tap water had a color, it would be white. Instead of accepting defeat to a lifetime of tasteless liquids, I began experimenting. There are so many other delicious ways to stay hydrated throughout the day and avoid nasty headaches and fatigue. Here are five of my favorite hydrating drinks for only pennies!
1. Berry-infused water
Adding some berries to your water is a perfect way to lightly flavor your drink without an overwhelming sweetness or intensity. Crush some sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with a fork and toss in a mason jar and add water. Cover and let the drink infuse for at least an hour in the fridge, then strain through a coffee filter. Feeling spicy? Try tossing in some fresh mint as well.
Another one of my favorite add-ins to infused water is also sliced cucumber. It adds a fresh, elegant flavor as if it was served in a spa. If you have an infuser bottle, this can make the process even simpler and you won't have to strain out any pulp.
2. Citrus water
Citrus water is a summer favorite of mine and is most likely the easiest and cheapest drink on the list. All you have to do to achieve this refreshing mix is roll some lemons, oranges, and limes on the counter (this releases the juice from the fruit). Then, slice the fruit and squeeze the juice into your glass, pour in water and ice, and stir. Feel free to drop the remaining rinds into the water as well. Voila! This vitamin-C rich, time-conscious drink is so easy to put together before any activities such as relaxing on the beach, grinding at the gym, or taking a dip in the pool.
I worked at a smoothie shop for nearly two years, so I'd like to think that I'm an expert at the art of smoothie-blending. Believe it or not, fruits are actually very hydrating on their own. When you add some ice and water, you can have a thick and fruity drink in minutes. My favorite smoothie recipe is simple and filling, but it will also keep you hydrated:
- 1/2 cup of frozen mango
- 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- Vanilla whey protein (optional)
- 1 cup of ice
- ½ cup water or milk
Then, simply blend to your desired thickness. Smoothies tend to have a higher amount of sugar, but having this drink once in a while can be such a refreshing snack. With smoothies, you will never run out of options. Berries, veggies, and fruits such as apples and pears are also loaded with water.
4. Brewed tea
There is a misconception that tea, due to the caffeine, is dehydrating. Today, I am here to shut that rumor down so you can enjoy tea, worry-free. The Center for Human Nutrition in Omaha concluded that there are no significant differences in water versus caffeinated tea regarding hydration. Both caffeinated and decaf teas can be an excellent way to drink water flavored with a variety of aromatic herbs and spices.
My favorite tea is hot chai tea, which has a blend of black tea, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, and is pleasant with a splash of milk. It is a cozy drink to sip in the winter, but can also be made iced for warmer days. Green teas, herbal teas-- and for my southern readers-- sweet teas, can all be enjoyed to get your water intake.
5. Coconut water
There is almost nothing better than sipping chilled coconut water under the sun. If you want to feel as if you're lounging on a tropical island, coconut water is a vacation drink you can grab at nearly any supermarket or gas station. It's so refreshing and tasty, but it is also said to be more hydrating than water itself! It is packed with electrolytes which allows your body to use the fluids more efficiently. Coconut water is my favorite way to stay hydrated, especially throughout the hot summers and vacation days.
It can be so hard to remember to drink water throughout the day, but these refreshing blends will get you hooked on hydrating. These natural berry and fruit infusions bring boring tap water to the next level, so you never have to endure a dehydration headache ever again.