Water has a lot of things going for it: It has zero calories, it’s free, you need it to live… But if hydration is what you’re looking for, there are alternatives to a glass of tap water that can actually hydrate you more efficiently.
While water is still the best all-natural solution to your everyday thirst, more hydrating drinks can be the wiser choice in situations where you’re already dehydrated. You want to look for beverages that contain electrolytes to help you retain more water — but that still have low levels of sodium and no added sugars.
You might think that a sports drink is the best option for replenishing fluids after exercise or a long period of time without water; however, these drinks are often loaded with added refined sugars and don’t contain many nutrients otherwise.
You’ve probably heard of the old trick to add a lemon. While adding a (clean) lemon to your water is a great health tip, the following beverages have more flavor and electrolytes than you’d get from a squeeze or two of citrus. From probiotics to vitamins and minerals typically excluded from the standard American diet, these drinks are not only super healthy, but are actually more hydrating than water.
Aloe, considered to be the plant of immortality by the ancient Egyptians, is packed with antioxidants and is known to have potent regenerative properties. Aloe water is a great detoxifying agent for the gut, and it helps stimulate cell growth and repair wounds. Like coconut water, it can be of immense benefit when used internally or externally and is widely used for health and beauty purposes.
Beets have been dubbed nature’s candy by some, because they contain so much sugar. However, the sugar in beets is all natural. And this vegetable, however sweet it may be, is still incredibly nutritious. There are many reasons to eat (or drink) more beets, and companies like Beet Performer, Pūrjus, and Red Ace make ready-to-drink beet juices for that purpose. Beet juice will provide potassium, B vitamins, carotenoids, magnesium, and iron.
Don’t be deterred by the green color of these drinks. Essentially, they’re made of water infused with fruit flavorings (all of which are natural) and chlorophyll (the green pigment that enables plants to process energy from sunlight). With fun flavors like blueberry and watermelon, it’s hard to believe that they have more antioxidants than four cups of spinach.
Coconut water is uber-trendy and delicious, but is it good for you? Well, it depends on what kind you buy. Here’s the deal with coconut water: The simpler, the better. Drinking real, natural coconut water is a much healthier choice for hydrating than a bottled version with added sugar or flavored syrups. Plain coconut water is low in sodium and rich in potassium, helping you hydrate in ways that regular water cannot.
There are plenty of healthy fruits you can infuse in your water, and we highly suggest doing so. Simply pour some purified water into a pitcher or water bottle and add some freshly sliced fruit.
Similar to yerba mate, guayusa is an all-natural energy supplement derived from a plant. Indigenous cultures in Ecuador and Colombia traditionally drank guayusa from a gourd as part of an early-morning ritual. Guayusa has as much caffeine as coffee, but it is also rich in antioxidants and chlorogenic acids, which benefit the heart.
You definitely shouldn’t go drink a cup of maple syrup if you’re feeling parched. But sipping maple water might be a good idea. It has a hint of maple taste because it comes directly from a maple tree, tapped right from the source. It contains manganese and natural sugars to help you hydrate.
Drinking milk is actually a faster way to hydrate than drinking water. The natural sugars (lactose) and protein in milk are better at helping your body retain water. Just don’t wash your cookie down with milk — that’s a really bad idea.
Probiotics help maintain the “good” bacteria in your gut and fight back against the “bad” kind that messes with your digestion. While you could get your probiotics from a pill, there are also a number of foods and drinks that contain them. Probiotic water is a type of bottled drink infused with natural fruit juices and probiotics.
Add lots of ice! Not only do they taste great, but smoothies are also a smart way to fit some extra nutrients in your day. You can incorporate fruit, greens such as spinach or kale, or nutrient blends like moringa powder. You might even turn your healthy drink into a meal by adding protein and healthy fats. Be wary of the amount of fruit you add, however — add too much and you might feel one of these signs you're eating too much sugar.
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