The conventional wisdom—often repeated and just as often debunked—is that you should drink eight glasses of water a day. But do you really need that much? And are there ways to get hydrated without refilling your glass with plain old H2O every hour? Sort of, and absolutely! Let us explain.
Search: Easiest Ways To Hydrate
First, here’s why, despite the frequent bathroom trips and the hassle of schlepping around a reusable water bottle, hydrating is worth it: Drinking water may promote weight loss by speeding up metabolism, according to a study published in the journal Obesity. (Video: Hydration and Nutrition for Runners) And skimping on fluids can take a toll on your mood, too. That may sound like no big deal, but recent studies have linked mild dehydration to fatigue, anxiety, poor concentration, and even your cranky midday slump .
But do you really need a bottle of water on your desk (or in your handbag) at all times? The latest guidelines from the Institute of Medicine recommend women get 91 ounces of water a day—that’s actually more than 11 cups! But hold up—that doesn’t all have to come from the tap. In fact, at least 20 percent of the water you get will come from food . One medium apple translates to almost 6 ounces of fluid, and a watermelon wedge gives you even more. “Even foods like cheddar cheese, cooked broccoli, roasted and skinless chicken breasts contain water,” says Jill Weisenberger, RD, CDE. Best of all: Coffee and tea count, too. (Your diet soda, however, does not—so consider that reason 8,499 to kick that soda habit altogether.)
Now, the good stuff: Here, three fun—and affordable—ways to spice up your H2O:
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Flat Belly Diet Sassy Water
2 liters water
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors blend overnight. Strain the pitcher the next morning and drink all of the flavored water the next day. Bonus: The ingredients in this recipe help de-bloat your belly!
2 liters water
1/2 bunch basil, mint or tarragon
½ cup grapes or strawberries
1 orange peeled
1 cup watermelon
Combine water with the above ingredients in these combinations: Strawberry-orange-basil; watermelon-mint; grape-tarragon. If the fruit requires peeling (such as melons), peel first and then slice; berries and grapes can be used whole. Herbs can be either torn or tossed in whole. Infuse the water in the refrigerator overnight, allowing the herbs and fruits to remain for a more intense flavor.
From Chef Scott at Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson, Arizona
2 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups water or sparkling water
1 Tbsp sugar
Bring berries, water and sugar to boil in medium pot. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Occasionally mash the blueberries with the back of a spoon to release their juices. Pour into a fine mesh strainer over a container or bowl, pressing the blueberry “pulp” with the back of a spoon until all the liquid is released. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze ¼ cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers. To use, combine equal parts blueberry mixture and flat or sparkling water. Frozen ¼-cup portions may be added to water and allowed to thaw, slowly releasing the blueberry flavor.
Makes 2 cups of juice; you can save the pulp to make smoothies.
From The Sneaky Chef