What we choose to drink each day really has a big impact on our health. Sugar-laden drinks like sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juices and smoothies promote weight gain by providing extra calories, but can also damage our health in more subtle ways. Sugar has been shown to impair our immune systems, making us more susceptible to colds, flus, and other diseases. Sugar also stirs up inflammatory reactions in the body and can raise cholesterol, triglyceride and insulin levels in the blood, setting us up for heart disease and diabetes. And, of course, sugary drinks promote lots of tooth decay.
Artificially-sweetened, sugar-free drinks are not great either – a lot of evidence suggests that people who frequently consume these super-sweet products actually place themselves at greater risk for weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
So what should we be drinking every day? Well, it’s best to start with … water! Water really is the best thing to drink to keep our selves hydrated and feeling energetic throughout the day. However, I have heard from lots of folks who say they just aren’t thrilled with drinking plain old H2O. So – for anyone out there looking for some beverage inspiration – here are some ideas!
One way to add a little extra sparkle to water is to infuse it with the flavors of different fruits, vegetables and herbs. In the video I demonstrate some of my favorite infused water blends. You can also click on the links below the video for the complete recipe of your favorite blend.
I also like to keep a pitcher of some type of herbal iced tea in my refrigerator when I want something flavorful to drink. These are a few of my favorite teas – and there are many more to choose from. Just walk down the tea and coffee aisle in any grocery store and pick out one or two that look appealing. I usually just fill a pitcher with water and drop a few tea bags in and let it steep for 30 minutes or so. You can also add fresh herbs, like mint, to your pitcher of tea for extra flavor and a pretty burst of color.
Sometimes, it’s also nice to make a nice hot cup of tea. Both black and green teas have tremendous health benefits, and contain less caffeine than coffee. You can also buy decaffeinated black and green teas and, of course, dozens of different types of herbal tea blends in any market. While buying packaged teas can be both easy and economical, it’s sometimes nice to make your own tea blends at home. One of my favorite teas to make from scratch is a spicy chai. It’s possible to buy many different types of pre-made chai, but none compare to the flavor of this homemade one I make in this video.
Until then, here’s to healthy hydration! We’ll see you soon!