Fun with Hydration

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Water is great for weight control and feeling energized – but what can we drink when we’re bored with plain water?

Try these additions and alternatives that won’t add pounds or zap your energy:

1) Mother Nature’s “Sports Drink." Coconut Water is naturally high in electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, as well as antioxidants. If you can get fresh coconut water right out of the coconut – that’s the best! But how many of us life with our own coconut supply? Most people buy it bottled. Read the label to be sure it’s 100% coconut water. 

2) Berry Cubes. Fill an ice cube tray with the juice and pulp from berries. Put 8 to 10 blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries in a bowl, and using a tablespoon, mash them until you have a mixture of the fruit pulp and juice. Then pour/scoop the fruit into the ice tray’s individual compartments and freeze. When you’re ready for a drink of water, pop out a cube or two and plop them into your glass.

3) Fruit Infusions. You can also freeze summer fruit that’s about to be overripe – like pineapple, peaches, kiwi, or watermelon. And of course, you can squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon or other citrus fruits in ice cube tray compartments and freeze, or infuse a whole pitcher or jug with sliced fruits and berries. I love the mixture of blueberry and lemon, and the flavors of watermelon, cucumber, and mint. The longer the water steeps, the more intense the flavor.

4) Off the Shelf. You can also buy infused waters off the shelf; make sure you select ones that contain no added sodium or sugars. A few to try are Hint (sparkling or regular) and Perrier Grapefruit (sparkling).

5) Go Green. Vegetable juices, especially green juices made with parsley, spinach, kale, celery, carrots, beets, fennel, ginger, and mint, are a great way to get your fluids and a lot of nutrition. Home juicing or cold-pressed at your local juice bar is best. There are also plenty of off-the-shelf versions; again, be sure to read the labels.

6) Eat Your Hydration. Summer is a great time to choose fruits and veggies that will help keep you hydrated and provide nutritional boosts. Some favorites include:

• Watermelon. This hydrating fruit is 92% water, and in just one serving you get about five ounces of water. Watermelon also has a very high level of citrulline, an amino acid that our body uses to make arginine, another amino acid that’s related to vascular health. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and the antioxidant lycopene.

• Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are naturally sweet sources of vitamin A and 90% water by weight.

• Grapefruit is tart, tangy, and a refreshing 91% water. It also contains powerful phytonutrients called limonoids, which form enzymes that spark a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for elimination from the body. Remember, your liver is the only detox you need, so keep it working well.

• Strawberries have loads of fiber, are an antioxidant powerhouse, and are packed with vitamin C. Every berry is 92% water. 

• Cucumbers contain mostly water, which makes them very cooling. They are a great source of vitamin B and K, rich in potassium and magnesium and contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that fight disease.

• Celery contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium, with 95% water content. 

Whatever water source you choose, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor by staying hydrated!

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