Water plays many essential roles in the body including helping with digestion, detoxification, body temperature regulation, and protecting the joints and spinal cord. Most of us know that water is important, but in the winter time cold water doesn’t always sound as appealing, so it can be difficult to drink adequate quantities. Here are some of our favorite healthy drinks other than water.
Tea is rich in polyphenols (naturally occurring micronutrients in plants) and antioxidants. If you opt to use caffeinated tea, try to switch to de-caffeinated in the afternoon to ensure your tea intake won’t impact your sleep. Herbal teas are naturally caffeine free.
To get the most benefit, rotate your tea so you are consuming a variety of the plant-based compounds. Some of our favorites are:
- Green tea is rich in Catechins and has many health benefits that you can read about with sources here.
- Dandelion spice teas are good for supporting liver function and detoxification
- Chamomile and bedtime teas can be calming and are nice to wind-down with
Warm Water with Lemon
If you struggle to drink enough water, try warming up water in a coffee mug and adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Many people find that it is easier to drink a larger quantity at once when the water is warm vs. cold. To make follow through easier, wash and cut up slices of lemon to keep in your fridge at the beginning of the week. Extra vitamin C in the winter time is always a plus, and some people notice positive changes with their digestion when they add in more lemon water. Add in some grated ginger for an even bigger immune and antioxidant boost.
Kombucha is a type of fermented black tea that is rich in probiotics and good for the microbiome. Probiotics and prebiotics work together to keep the intestinal flora happy and healthy. You can make your own kombucha at home or you can buy it in the refrigerated beverage section of most major grocery stores.
Tips for buying kombucha: Avoid brands with artificial sweeteners such as stevia or aspartame, and try to buy a brand that has less than 10 grams of sugar per serving like most of the offerings from GTS Living Foods. Remember that most brands have two servings per bottle, so depending on the amount of sugar it’s probably best to drink the bottle over the course of two days.
Sparkling Water with Fresh Fruit
Last on our list of healthy drinks other than water is sparkling water. Opt for a brand in a glass bottle instead of plastic or cans to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals, or substances that interfere with your body’s natural hormone production processes. Add fresh fruit (like lemon, lime, or orange) to your water for real natural flavor, not the “natural flavorings” that you find in other brands of canned and bottled sparkling water. The term “natural flavoring” is loosely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) and it is often difficult to get companies to disclose what they are using as their natural flavoring, often stating it is a “proprietary blend”.
That wraps up some of our favorite healthy drinks other than water. It is still best to drink mostly plain water, but the above options can help you mix things up a bit when you are craving something with a little bit of flavor or want a drink to keep you warm this winter.