Sunday, October 24, 2010

What are some good ways to drink water without fake additives and fizzy tablets?

So nobody's scared of drinking water after my post about drinking too much water?  Good!  Drinking plenty of water helps people lose weight, keeps your skin looking healthy, aids in digestion, helps your kidneys function properly, etc. etc. Some people find plain old water boring.  I drink loads of plain old water and I don't have a problem with it, but if you like to flavor your water there are many options.  First off - flavored water drinks you buy at the store either have a bunch of sugar (like Gatorade or Vitamin Water) or lots of artificial sweeteners and colorings.  I used to love Crystal Light, but nowadays it tastes too sweet, stains my mouth weird colors, and contains aspartame, which I avoid when possible (see my previous post about aspartame).  Vitamin Water is a popular one, but it has way more sugar than "water" should, and it would work better as a sports drink for very long workouts, like all-day hiking.  Also, several studies have shown that our bodies do not absorb many of the vitamins from liquids like that.  Most of the vitamins go untouched and unhelpful.  Our bodies are best at absorbing vitamins from food directly.
So what to drink?  I really enjoy juice spritzers, which is about 8 oz. of sparkling water with about 2 oz. 100% fruit juice splashed in, not too sweet, but flavorful and very refreshing. Many people love squeezing a lemon or lime (or orange) wedge into their water, which is easy and looks pretty.  If you're ambitious, you can make your own homemade lemonade or limeade using squeezed lemons/limes and lightly sweeten with Stevia or agave syrup.  Adjust the proportions to your liking.  Unsweetened or lightly sweetened iced tea is a good choice too; it contains antioxidants that some studies have shown are beneficial. For commercial drinks, IZZE sparkling juices are good.  They are a 50/50 blend of sparkling water and pure fruit juice. They do contain plenty of sugar from the fruit juice though, but split the bottle with a friend and on occasion some fruit juice doesn't hurt.   

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