How do you hydrate?

Drinking water is essential to our health. Sixty percent of the human body is made up of water, which supports everything from brain function to blood to digestion. After oxygen, there is nothing we need more. 

When we don’t get enough water, we feel tired, sluggish, and can’t think clearly. Our organs aren’t able to function properly either. Toxins build up in our kidneys because we don’t have enough water to flush them out.

However, when we do get the water we need, the opposite happens! We tend to feel more energized and alert. Our bodies are able to release toxins, and everything just works better.

You’ve probably heard that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day. While this is more of a guideline than anything else, it’s a good goal to shoot for. Our bodies will tell us when they need water--we just have to pay attention.

However, I’ve noticed that many of my patients try to hydrate with beverages other than water. 

Consider your own drinking habits. When you’re thirsty, is your first instinct to pour a glass of water--or to reach for a soda instead? If you chose the later, you’re not alone. In fact, there are probably more people who hydrate mostly through soda, juice, energy drinks or coffee than people who rely mostly on water.

The thing is: none of those other choices refuel your body the way that pure water does. Think about it for a moment: our bodies run on water, not on processed beverages. Drinks that are full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, salt, and other additives hurt our bodies instead of nurturing them. 

Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring.

I get it: water isn’t exciting. That’s why I love to make Sassy Water, a recipe developed by nutritionist Cynthia Sass. Sassy water combines a wonderful blend of herbs with, well, water. Instead of a flat, dull taste, it’s invigorating! The herbs also help to stimulate digestion and soothe the stomach.

I suggest making a pitcher of Sassy water every night before bed, and letting it sit overnight so the flavors can blend together. Then, enjoy it over the course of the next day! If you’re heading off to work, pour some into a glass or metal water bottle (they’re BPA-free) and bring it with you. When you’re tired and want to drink something sugary for a boost, try this instead. The water will refresh your body and you’ll feel energized again. 

Sassy Water:

8 cups water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
12 small mint leaves, gently crushed

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit overnight.