Water Alternatives: What You Should Know
By Sara Butler
Staying hydrated is incredibly important to your overall health and wellness, but sometimes plain water just gets old. You want something different, something with a little flavor to wake up your taste buds and hydrate your body at the same time. There are a lot of water alternatives out there, but which is the best for you? Here’s what you need to know.
Coconut water is very hydrating, but it’s also really high in carbohydrates and often has added sugars, so it’s a beverage that is best enjoyed in moderation.
If you’re an athlete, coconut water may not be the best choice. Research has found that people who drank coconut water and then participated in an athletic activity had more gastrointestinal issues than those who didn’t. So, you may want to avoid it if you’re going to work out and save it for your rest days.
It’s a misconception that the caffeine in coffee will cause a diuretic effect that will end up dehydrating you. For most people, caffeine is perfectly acceptable and won’t leave you feeling thirsty. In fact, for many people, coffee is a great beverage to consume before a workout. It will hydrate you and the boost of caffeine will probably help your athletic performance a bit too.
But as with everything else, don’t go ape with caffeine. If you have too much, you may impair your kidney function and alter the way your body reabsorbs sodium, which can impact your hydration levels. Try to stick to just a couple of cups of coffee per day.
You should really avoid any type of sugary sports drinks. Luckily, there are sugarless options out there if you like a little flavor with your electrolytes after a workout. As long as you watch the sugar, these drinks are a great source of both water and electrolytes to help balance what you lost as you were exercising.
You’ve probably seen water infused with a variety of things at your local grocery store. It usually has fruit, vegetable, or herbs added for flavor. These are fine to consume as long as you keep on the lookout for any added sugars, sweeteners, or artificial flavorings. Better yet, make your own infused water at home so you know exactly what is going into it.
Nothing beats water when it comes to hydration, but it's OK to spice things up every once in a while to have something a little different. Just know what you're putting in the place of your water.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lynnwood, Wash.