Eight Glasses and Counting: Staying Hydrated
You’ve got the glasses–but are you struggling to use them as often as you should?
While the recommended amount of H2O consumption may individually vary, one thing is certain: We all need a constant supply of water to thrive. “It’s like putting oil in a car. If you sweat, you need to replenish that,” says aerobics and Zumba instructor Tiffany Staples, who shares her passion for healthy eating in her blog.
We asked Staples for her top tips for getting the liquid you need to thrive every day. These four strategies can help you stay hydrated this spring.
Flavor Your Water
Grab your infuser or a large pitcher with a lid to make your own flavored water. “Put your fruit in, pour your water around it, and off you go!” says Staples. She suggests refrigerating the concoction for two hours to allow fruit and vegetable flavors to seep in. Her favored combinations include:
- Raspberry/Lime: Combine one lime with 10 to 15 raspberries. “It’s a delicious mix of sweet and tart,” Staples says, likening the taste to candy. “It’s not like drinking straight lime or raspberry, not too overpowering.”
- Watermelon/Rosemary: Add two rosemary sprigs and two cups of seedless watermelon to your infuser to create a succulent flavor.
- Cucumber/Mint: Toss in half of a cucumber and a handful of mint leaves into your water. “It makes me feel like I’m at a spa,” Staples says. “It has a relaxing, cooling effect.”
- Citrus Spritzer: Make this energizing drink by cutting up a lemon and orange and adding it to your water. Peel some ginger cubes and throw them in the water, too, if you want some extra zing.
Juice It Up
When drinking flavored water, “unless you’re going to eat the actual fruit or veggies that you’re flavoring it with, you’re not going to get too many vitamins, just a little bit of the taste,” Staples explains. If you’re interested in maximizing your nutrients and water intake, try juicing.
Staples’ choice selection is orange lemonade. It consists of one orange, two lemons, one-and-a-half cups of water and two handfuls of iron-packed spinach. “Add to a blender and it produces a half water/half juice drink. The sweetness of the orange disguises the taste of spinach,” she says. (While juicing has its benefits, make sure to limit the intake to once a day if you’re using fruit, which is high in sugar.)
If you’re on the go, consider swapping out juice or soda with healthier, more hydrating alternatives. Staples suggests coconut water and caffeine-free herbal tea. “You can really hydrate yourself with anything that doesn’t contain caffeine. Taken directly from coconut meat, 100-percent coconut water is one of the best ways to get hydrated.”
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
While most people associate hydration with beverages, specific raw food sources have a high water concentration (up to 95 percent). Loading your plate with iceberg lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, cantaloupe and even low-sodium soup will help you get adequately hydrated.