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8 Healthy Ways to Stay Hydrated (Without Drinking Plain Water)

· Blog,Healthy Living,Health,Real Food,Recipes

Move over plain water: there are better ways to stay hydrated! Today I want to talk about the benefits of balanced hydration and how you can stay hydrated in a variety of healthy, nutrient-dense ways.

What’s Wrong with Drinking Plain Water?

There’s nothing wrong with drinking plain {clean} water, especially if you’re craving it, but it’s also good to keep in mind there are other ways to stay hydrated too. You should aim for balanced hydration just like you aim for a balanced diet. The idea is that we can treat healthy hydration the same way we treat healthy eating: get your hydration from a variety of nutritious sources. 

Sometimes plain water is simply unappetizing, which usually signals that the body needs other nutrients in addition to water. While our bodies are up to 60% water, we want to hydrate in a way that replenishes both the water our bodies need as well as other key nutrients, such as electrolytes, probiotics, minerals, and micronutrients. 

This is especially important when you’ve been stressed, sweating, exercising, or when you’ve been ill. These conditions cause you to lose, through sweat and urination, nutrients that need to be replenished. 

8 Healthy Ways to Stay Hydrated (without Drinking Plain Water)

There are a variety of ways you can stay hydrated besides just drinking water. Pick and choose from the list below and you’ll naturally get plenty of hydration throughout the day.

1. Nourish with Bone Broth

High quality bone broth is an excellent source of hydration. When prepared properly, bone broth is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium, plus important proteins like collagen. Sprinkle with a little unrefined sea salt to add a touch of sodium plus 60 - 80 trace minerals, and you have a very balanced way to rehydrate! 

A cup of broth with meals is excellent for digestion. You can also use bone broth to make delicious and nutrient-dense soups and stews, which are also water-rich foods that can keep your body hydrated.

2. Refresh with Water Kefir and Kombucha

Water kefir and kombucha are both carbonated, fermented beverages you can make at home. They each require slightly different fermentation processes. Water kefir uses kefir grains while kombucha uses a SCOBY to start fermentation. Water kefir is easier for beginners. Kombucha is a little more complicated, but still very doable.

Both drinks are rich in probiotics, enzymes and micronutrients that nourish the whole digestive system and strengthen the body. They’re also delicious and pleasantly fizzy, making it all the more effortless to stay hydrated! 

When choosing store-bought kombucha, I favor organic and I also check the label for a reasonable sugar content. Kombucha is a non-alcoholic fermentation of tea and sugar which is mostly consumed such that the remaining sugar content is around 2-6 grams per 8-ounce serving. Some brands have added additional sugar so take care and read the labels. 

3. Sip Herbal Tea 

Herbal tea may sometimes have a reputation for being a bit boring, but it’s really just the opposite. Herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated while taking in tons of antioxidants and polyphenols that fight inflammation, support your immune system, reduce stress, and nourish your body on so many levels. They’re also typically caffeine free, so you can drink them - hot or cold - anytime during the day. 

There are many wonderful herbal tea blends on the market that create a lovely combination of flavor and herbal goodness for everything from stress to energy. Or you can try individual herbal teas, such as those listed below. Again, look for organic options. 

  • Peppermint tea for focus and concentration.
  • Lemon balm tea for relaxation and immune boosting.
  • Chamomile tea for deep calm and support for healthy menstruation.
  • Cistus tea for immune support.
  • Rooibos tea for blood sugar support.
  • Ginger tea for digestion and circulation.
  • Dandelion tea for detoxification.
  • Hibiscus tea to support a healthy liver and heart.

4. Enjoy Healthy Lattes

Lattes don’t have to be caffeine-laden, sugar-heavy treats. They can actually be a healthy source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. They can also be warm, comforting beverages to drink during the winter months when you might not feel inclined to reach for a cold drink of water.

Try one of these healthy lattes:

5. Drink Coconut Water or Other Electrolytes

Coconut water is like nature’s electrolyte drink. It naturally contains potassium, sodium, and magnesium – it’s the complete package of balanced hydration. Coconut water has a refreshing, lightly sweet flavor that isn’t overly sugary. It’s also been shown to promote healthy skin and support kidney health (source). Want to simply grab a flavorful electrolyte powder? One brand I like is Ultima.

6. Have a little Salt Sole Water

Sole (pronounced soh-lay) water is a combination of mineral-rich natural salts with filtered water. It’s essentially a saltwater brine with a balance of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium as well as trace and micro minerals. It’s an easy health tonic that is simple to make at home. You can use sole water every morning to get the benefits of hydration, reduced stress and an improved sense of wellbeing. Just add 1 teaspoon to 8 ounces of filtered water. 

7. Eat Water-Rich Foods

One cause of dehydration is simply not eating enough water-rich foods. The typical modern diet is filled with processed foods that have very low water content. In general, a diet based on whole, unprocessed real foods will be much higher in natural water content. 

I’ve already mentioned a couple of nutrient-dense foods that are also rich in water (like bone broth and soups). Here are more foods you can reach for that pack plenty of nutrition and water:

  • Grass-fed dairy like yogurt, kefir, and raw milk.
  • Fruit and vegetables - especially grapes, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, celery, and peppers.
  • Properly soaked grains, especially those cooked in water like oats, lentils, and rice.

8. Avoid Too Much Alcohol or Caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine can be dehydrating to the body. They trigger the body to process more water through the kidneys, resulting in extra trips to the bathroom and, yes, dehydration. This process is also hard on your kidneys.

Although an occasional glass of wine or that morning cup of coffee may not be a problem for most, it’s easy to go overboard resulting in less restful / restorative sleep, blood sugar dysregulation, inflammation, etc. Pay close attention to how your body responds.

Does this list help you feel more enthused about staying hydrated? Please share the love!