November 07, 2017
Water is life. As adults, our bodies are made of up to 60 percent water, and in order to stay healthy, we must constantly replenish it. While estimates average that people in the U.S. get about 20 percent of their daily water intake through food, adults need to drink between 2.2-3 liters of water every day to maintain a healthy balance.
Dehydration’s effects can be serious. Besides common symptoms like headache and dry lips, mouth, and skin, less obvious symptoms include negative moods, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate. When we don’t drink enough water, our bodies treat the situation like an emergency, and begin rationing water. This means the water in your system is allocated to life-sustaining functions, while less vital bodily functions are put on hold. Long-term, this can lead to more serious, chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders, and more.
With all these reasons to drink more water, it should seem like a no-brainer. Yet nearly half of our population doesn’t drink enough water every day, instead reaching for more tempting (and detrimental) options like soda. The fact is, many people don’t like the taste of water. Here are some ways to start a healthier relationship with water by simply making it taste better.
These sweet treats are not just for summer. Making batches of flavored ice cubes can be a fantastic way to add delicious flavor to your water, and the endless possibilities will definitely keep you from getting bored. With options like watermelon to cucumber-basil and even hibiscus, there are many choices that will elevate your plain, boring water into something that rivals the fanciest of bottled drinks. Experiment with berries, citrus, herbs, and more to find your favorite flavor combinations.
Consider spicing your water up with a little cinnamon. Simply simmer a cinnamon stick in a cup of water, then use the liquid as a concentrate to add to a larger container, and chill. This fun trick also has some great health benefits: it’s rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and can even help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol.
It’s always nice to get a lemon wedge in your water at a restaurant, and this trick can do wonders when it comes to simply making water tastier. It also has great health benefits, like boosting your vitamin C levels, aiding in digestion, and even freshening your breath. Lemon is one of many metabolism-boosting foods, so adding a generous squeeze to your water may actually help you stay trim.
Bottled water can get expensive, and the plastic packaging on most bottled water has serious drawbacks. For many people, the easiest way to drink water is to draw it straight from the tap. But with a variety of concerns over the chemicals in municipal water, the dangers of lead poisoning, and a noticeable chlorine taste, it’s a good idea to filter it. Certified filters can help purify the flavor and even remove some contaminants, but there are several options to get the best taste out of your tap water. If you’re concerned about the safety of your tap water beyond the taste, consider getting a report through the EPA.
While you certainly shouldn’t work out when you’re dehydrated, for some people, a workout can actually make water taste better. This is related to the natural metabolic process known as ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body burns stored fat, and a byproduct of this activity is the release of acetone through breathing. The acetone affects the taste in your mouth; for some, it results in a pleasant, sweet taste, while for others, the taste is metallic. If you’re lucky enough to find water sweeter after exercise, finding the time for regular workouts may also make your water taste better.