Last week I mentioned taking part in a health and fitness challenge and discussed how to create SMART goals. This week our focus is on the types of beverages we choose and making sure we drink a minimum of 8 (8 oz.) glasses of water each day. This is one challenge I am excited about...and not just because I think it will be a breeze for me! But also because staying properly hydrated is so essential to our health and well-being. About 60% of our body is made up of water, it is in every cell, tissue, and organ. Water helps regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, remove waste and toxins from the body, and provide cushioning to protect our joints and organs.
Each person's exact water needs may differ and is dependent on factors such as climate, health status, and activity level which can all increase needs. The common adage of "eight glasses a day" is just a general recommendation. The suggested adequate intake (AI) is 3 liters a day for men and 2.2 liters for women. This guideline can be met in a variety of ways, not just drinking water, other beverages as well as foods can add fluids to the diet. Although I would like to note that certain beverages that are high in sugar, calories, caffeine, and/or alcohol may be counterproductive to your efforts.
My drink of choice is just plain ice water and I drink a ton of it on any given day. Sometimes if it's available I will add a few slices of lemon. I know for some people water itself is just not that appealing. Infusing your water might help make it more palatable and interesting to say the least! For Christmas this past year I got this nifty little water bottle. You place whatever you choose inside the little compartment and it flavors your water without having little bits and pieces floating around.
So of course I couldn't resist experimenting with my new "toy" and seeing what infusions I could come up with. I have found that for some of the . like the herbs, it helps to muddle them a little bit with the end of a spoon to release their flavors. Also, some of the fruits like grapes and berries are great if frozen beforehand to not only flavor your water but keep it cool too. Try them solo or mix and match the following ingredients to kick your water up a notch or two...
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Cucumber Slices
- Dark Cherries
- Lemon Slices
- Lime Wedges
- Fresh Mint
- Orange Slices
- Pineapple Spears
- Pomegranate Arils
- Rose Hips
- Vanilla Bean
- Watermelon Chunks
Other tasty and thirst-quenching ingredients or combinations you have tried?
We'd love to hear about them!
Mayo Clinic. (2014). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256?pg=1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Water: Meeting your daily fluid needs. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/water.html
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