Water performs many metabolic tasks in our body. It is the major component of all bodily fluids, especially blood, sweat, tears and saliva. It helps in transportation of nutrients and waste to and from every cell of the body. Water is present in the synovial fluids of the joints and helps them move freely. It may sound like a lot, but we all need at least eight to ten, 8 ounce glasses of water on a daily basis. But there many other healthy drinks that can count as good water replenishment for the lost body fluids. Discussing these 7 healthy alternatives to water below:
Healthy Drinks That Can Replace Water
1. Green Tea
If you can replace one cup of coffee with green tea, you’d be doing your body a lot of favour. Green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves and contains half the caffeine of coffee. It is rich in antioxidants that help mop up free radicals in the body. These free radicals are associated with tumour formation and also with ageing.
How many cups of green tea per day is it safe to drink
Drink no more than 2-3 cups per day.
How to enjoy green tea
Green tea is available in many cool flavours these days. You can also enhance the taste by adding ginger, mint, lemon juice and/or honey to it. Green tea can also be cooled and made into delicious iced tea. Frozen desserts using Matcha green tea are also popular ways of enjoying this beverage.
Try these variations of green tea
- Mango green tea
- Pineapple ginger iced green tea
- Minty green tea lemonade
- Peachy iced green tea
- Jasmine green tea
2. Fruit Infused Water
Rather than skip water for unhealthy, sugary beverage, try sipping on fruit infused water. Fruit infused water is nothing but plain water to which you have made healthy additions like berries, limes or lemons, citrus slices, crushed fresh or dried herbs, mint leaves etc. These materials can be used in various combinations to create satisfying flavour infused water. You can even serve these refreshing drinks at parties to invigorate your guests. They are great as a post meal beverage that aids in metabolism and digestion. Go ahead and experiment with different local and seasonal fruits and veggies and you’d never get bored!
How much to drink daily?
Keep a pitcher full of infused water in the refrigerator and sip 8-10 glasses throughout the day. These vitamin rich beverages are refreshing and invigorating and they are safe to drink in large quantities.
How to enjoy fruit infused water?
- Strawberry-basil infused water
- Orange-mint/sage infused water
- Apple-cinnamon infused water
- Lime-Cucumber infused water
- Watermelon-rosemary infused water
3. Turmeric Juice
Turmeric juice is a great alternative to plain water. It is also a great alternative to carrot juice and other fruit juices which happen to contain sugar.
To make you will need
- 5-7 inches of turmeric root (organic, soaked, washed, peeled and sliced)
- 500 ml Spring water
Use a good quality juicer or blender. Juice the peeled and sliced roots with water. Your fingers will turn yellow, but worry not; a bit of dish soap can take it off. Turmeric is rich in curcumin-an antioxidant. It is prized for its antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Juice only what you can consume and discard the rest as it ferments easily. You can refrigerate leftover juice to delay fermentation.
How much to drink
Drink a glass daily for three weeks and see the difference in your health! Your skin will glow, you will feel energetic and your bowel movements will be regular.
Add a bit of lemon juice or some ginger and honey to sweeten the drink.
Kombucha is a fermented ‘tea’ that is rich in probiotics, beneficial enzymes and antioxidants. You can make kombucha at home using the culture called Scoby which is readily available in most health food stores. Kombucha is known as the ‘tea of immortality’, ‘elixir of life’ and ‘tea beer’. This healthy tonic has a sweet, sour and tart taste which provides a refreshing and invigorating feel to the drinker. Today, Kombucha is extremely popular in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany both commercially and among home brewers. Its many health benefits include: detoxification, relief from symptoms of anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, strengthened immunity, healing of joint damage etc.
How much to drink daily
As always too much of anything, no matter how healthy it is, can be dangerous. So drink this tea no more than 2 cups a day.
You can add Elderberry, dandelion roots, cardamom pods, coconut water or dairy kefir to kombucha.
5. Leafy Green Drinks
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard and kale contain Vitamin A, C, K and folate. Juices made using leafy green vegetables deliver more nutrients than just about any other food on the planet. They also stock our body with the artillery needed to fight diseases. Green juices are great for every cell of the body. They provide us with water and nutrients and you can further enhance their power by adding protein powder, spirulina, fruits and herbs. You can always buy green juices commercially but it is easier and healthier to make them at home. All you need is a high power blender or juicer and you can make delicious green juices at home.
How much to drink daily
Drink 3-4 glasses a day. Note that these juices contain sugar and tons of fibre. So always consult a doctor before taking up extreme diets. Some people tend to experience diarrhoea and other issues in the beginning. Always start slow – drink up to one glass and slowly increase intake until you are comfortable.
For variety, add some coconut water, green tea, dandelion, cilantro, parsley, tropical fruits like pineapple and mango as well as beets to your green leafy juices.
6. Fresh Smoothies
Like green juices, there are numerous benefits of drinking fresh smoothies. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and healthy fats. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives you enhanced immunity, glowing skin, increased metabolism and regular bowel movements. You can buy readymade smoothies from super markets and health food stores but know that nothing beats the power of homemade smoothies.
The main difference between smoothies and juices is that smoothies include puree, seeds, skins and pits of fruits whereas juices usually filter these out. Smoothies can also contain milk, yogurt, ice cream and other base materials that tend to make them thicker. Both juices and smoothies are healthy drinks that you can take if you dislike drinking plain water.
How much to drink daily
Like green juices, you can drink smoothies up to 3 times a day. But always start slow. Note that smoothies also contain sugar and can be very calorific if you are adding ice cream, nuts, seeds or milk to them.
Make your smoothies using arugula, mustard greens, spinach, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce etc. Add apples, avocados, bananas, figs, nectarines, mangos and pineapples. For creamy texture, add almond or cashew milk (unsweetened), coconut milk or coconut water, hemp milk, herbal tea, rice milk or sparkling water.
7. Coconut Water
Coconut water’s composition is almost similar to human plasma; it contains a mixture of amino acids, sugars, minerals, vitamins, and other substances necessary for growth and development. An added advantage of coconut water is that it is naturally sterile (free of germs) and also readily available in many parts of the world. Coconut water is inexpensive and readily provides essential nutrients and much needed hydration to dehydrated, tired and fatigued people.
How much is safe to consume per day
You can safely drink the water from 2-3 coconuts per day.
How to enjoy coconut water
Drink it plain-it is delicious! You can also add a dash of lime juice or crushed fruits like strawberries. Chopped herbs are also a great addition. You can make great refreshing beverage by making coconut water kefir. Coconut water kefir is healthy and rich in probiotics. To make this kefir, you will need kefir grains. To one quart of coconut water, add ¼ cup hydrated water kefir grains. Allow the drink to ferment for 24 hours. This fermented beverage has a natural tang that many people find refreshing. You can add chopped up ginger, strawberries and herbs to it to further enhance the taste.
Nothing can compare to fresh drinking water but not everyone loves its taste. Sodas, colas and commercial juices are high in sugar and extremely calorific. The same is true with sports drinks. You can always go for healthier options like coconut water or/and fermented tea like kombucha or green tea in place of plain water. We are sure the above drinks will provide you with all the hydration you need while also giving you much required taste and flavour.