Every year, Americans spend zillions of dollars buying tea, coffee, wine, and beer (not to mention sugary sodas). But you know what the best drink of all is? That unsung hero, plain old water.
Think about it. Water makes up more than 50% of your body, so it’s the primary building block of your organs. What’s more, the water in your body works hard for you. In your bloodstream, it carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells. In your digestive system, it helps you digest food and flushes out toxins. Water also regulates your body temperature—for instance, by cooling you off when you sweat.
Unfortunately, water gets short shrift in our diets these days, with research suggesting that up to 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. Chronic dehydration causes “brain fog” and other problems ranging from headaches to high blood pressure to muscle cramps. In addition, it dries out your skin and makes your eyes look sunken, adding years to your age. It even causes bad breath (ick!).
Clearly, it’s time to give water the credit it deserves, and to make sure you get plenty of it. I recommend drinking at least eight glasses a day (in addition to the water you get from other beverages). If you exercise strenuously, it’s a good idea to drink even more.
Of course, if you’re used to flavored beverages, water may seem a little… blah. But I have a solution for you—and it doesn’t involve buying those overpriced flavored waters in the grocery store. Instead, make your own flavored water in minutes!
For “overnight water,” start with filtered water and add fruits and herbs. Two of my favorite combinations are cucumber/mint, grapefruit/rosemary, and orange/pineapple. Let your water sit in a glass jar or pitcher for eight hours or more, so you’ll get a big burst of flavor.
You can also flavor sparkling water by adding muddled fruits and herbs. (If you’re not familiar with muddling, it just means smashing up your ingredients with a pestle or a wooden spoon.) My favorite sparkling water combos are strawberry/basil and blueberry/mint. And for a real eye opener, try combining watermelon and jalapeno!
Get creative, and try making up your own recipes. You can toss in as many different fruits and herbs as you like—or you can take the opposite approach, and go simple. For instance, I like to start my day by adding a squeeze of lemon juice to a glass of water and drinking it with breakfast.
Of course, there are other ways to stay hydrated as well. Coffee and tea can provide you with a good dose of water—and contrary to the old wives’ tale, coffee doesn’t dehydrate you. A cup of bone broth will hydrate you and mainline building blocks of collagen to your skin, making your face beautiful. But all of these should augment, not replace, those glasses of water.
So put a sticky note on your fridge that says “H2O,” and get in the habit of pouring a glass of water whenever you notice it. Buy a stainless steel thermos, and fill it with flavored sparkling water so you can stay hydrated at work. Start your morning with a glass of lemon water, and end your day with a cup of tea or bone broth. It’ll all add up to a healthy body, a happy brain, and a younger-looking you!
Keep Thinking Big & Living Bold!