It seems that everybody has an idea about how to become healthier these days. There’s gluten-free, paleo, raw, and a whole host of other options available for those of us who want to change what we eat. With so many different health movements going on, it would seem unlikely that there is anything they all have in common.
But there is. No matter what route you are going to take to improve your health, you’ll be told to drink a lot of water. Clean water is a vital part of almost every bodily process, so the only way your chosen health path can work is if you keep hydrated. Some diets allow other drinks, but they all permit plenty of water.
It would seem that would make things easier, but sometimes water isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A problem shared by many dieters is they feel like they’re stuck eating and doing the same old things, and water is certainly a part of that.
The truth is that straight water is dull on its own. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of tricks you can use to turn plain, boring water into a drink with some more variety–without wandering from the standards for your particular diet.
The biggest knock on water is that it’s always the same. There’s nothing wrong with the taste of water–and yes, it does have a taste, as anyone can attest after drinking distilled water.
Of course, the first concern many people have about adding flavor is that the new ingredients will not be consistent with the requirements of their diets. The good news is that you can make flavored water without artificial sweeteners, sugar, or anything else that will mess up your diet.
Municipal water treatment facilities focus on making water clean, not delicious. In addition, all the things that the water encounters on its way to you–from sediment to those purification chemicals–can alter the taste of water and keep it from having the best flavor.
The need for water that tastes better and is safer has spurred lots of families to install home purification systems. It’s a brilliant idea when you think about it, because it lets you purify and improve the water at the last possible moment before you drink it, instead of miles away at a water plant.
So you’ve just come in from your morning walk and you’re parched. How about a nice big glass of…warm water? Water that’s at the wrong temperature is just about undrinkable. In addition to the science of absorption–studies show that cold water is absorbed more quickly–we’re back on palatability. That’s why so many people who consume water in large quantities will often keep their drink iced down.
That’s probably common sense, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. People with damaged or sensitive teeth may not be able to tolerate water that’s cold enough, so their consumption may be too low. This can be addressed by using a straw so that the cold water bypasses dental problems. And the bottle that provides a quick chug of rehydration with ice-cold water after a run may quickly reach lukewarm if left in the sun, slowing subsequent consumption.
Our bodies require large amounts of water. That’s true whether you’re an Olympic athlete or working at a desk job. It also applies to every diet that has ever been formulated, whether its goal is weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, veganism, or anything else. We can’t succeed without drinking water, so anything we can do to keep it flowing is great for our health.