October 12, 2016
Dear Dr. Bell, I just started working out again and I am having the hardest time making my water goals everyday. I’m having a more difficult time meeting my daily water intake goals then my food intake. Do you know of any healthy water flavors or powders I can use to make it easier for me to drink water?
I understand your concern. If you listen to the Nutrition Nazis out there, you will hear “only water is water!” Coffee, tea, fruit juice, soda, etc. are not water!”
They will tell you that a lot of your favorite drinks contain diuretics that will actually dehydrate you, rather than hydrate you.
Now unless you are sitting on a life raft in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the only thing you have to drink is the Atlantic Ocean, you really don’t have to worry about drinking something that will dehydrate you.
Even if you drink Espresso or Mountain Dew (both of which have high caffeine contents and caffeine is a diuretic), you still have a net gain of water.
I am in agreement the best thing to drink is pure, filtered water, but if you don’t like it enough to consume adequate amounts throughout the day, you need to find something you do like.
Here are some suggestions for you!
Please try variety.
Variety is important because most people get bored drinking the same thing all the time.
In the morning, try a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon or lime. There are very positive studies on the health benefits of hot water first thing every morning.
Throughout the day, try cold or hot water with a slice of citrus fruit (oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, etc.) or any other fruit you enjoy.
You can also mix it up with multiple fruits and herbs such as:
- Strawberry, Lemon and Basil
- Blueberry, Orange and Ginger
- Mango, Raspberry and Ginger
- Watermelon and Mint
- Lavender and Lemon
- Kiwi, Strawberry and Basil
- Blackberry and Sage
- Grapefruit and Rosemary
- Pineapple and Coconut Water
- Cucumber and Lemon
- Apple and Cinnamon Sticks
- Cantaloupe and Mint
The possibilities are endless. These are just a few of my favorites!
You can also try a variety of teas.
While the health benefits of Green Tea are well documented, continuing research has documented the health benefits of all teas: Green, Black, Red, White, etc. Tea manufactures are now making a wide assortment of teas, and non-tea “teas” like many non-tea herbal drinks.
Take a look at the wide assortment of teas in your local market. There are over 300 varieties at specialist tee stores.
I would still avoid high calories or high sugar drinks for obvious reasons, unless of course you are using a sugar drink as a post-exercise recovery drink.
If you are, remember your goal is to replace Blood Glucose, which means sugar.
If you follow nutrition research both, Chocolate Milk and Pepsi Throwback (made with real sugar) have been shown to be good for glucose replacement. Since many sodas and sports drinks are made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), I cannot recommend those or anything made with HFCS.
None of the research I have read on HFCS has been good.
As a result, until I see something positive from a researcher I trust, it is on my – do not drink list…and please, don’t send me something you read on “Snopes” or “Wikipedia!”
I have no idea who writes for these groups, but I see more truth coming from a Marvel Comic Book than I see from them.
This is a warning to you: make sure what you read is from a legitimate source so you don’t put bad information into your brain. You owe it to yourself, your family and your clients to learn as much accurate information as you can.
Dr. Jim Bell
CEO of IFPA