Drink 8 cups of water a day. That’s been drilled into our heads since we were young, right? While that guideline is actually a myth, making sure you drink enough fluid to stay properly hydrated is a definite must for living healthy. Even so, it wasn’t until a major health scare occurred in my family that I turned a leaf with a pretty significant health kick and started paying closer attention to the hydration aspect of my health.
“Every cell in your body needs water,” says Holly Christian from NH Population Health Nutrition. “It keeps you hydrated, is calorie-free and has no added sugar or sodium. Choose water regularly throughout the day.”
Excess sugar is a problem in many drinks and can lead to other problems, such as weight gain or cavities, so it’s always better to choose water. Healthy Families BC says that water is the best option to satisfy thirst and stay hydrated.
With all this in mind, I started filling a one litre bottle with good old-fashioned tap water and aiming to drink at least two of them every day (more when I exercised, and when it’s particularly hot outside, like now; Healthy Families BC also has some great info on why drinking water when it’s hot is important).
In order to keep me interested in water, I started flavouring it using simple fruit and herb combinations. Now, I can sip through my water consistently during the day without getting bored of the taste, I’m always properly hydrated (giving me much more energy!), I’m not taking in an excess of sugar, and I get a tasty fruit snack at the end of each bottle.
Here are some of my favourite flavoured water mixes:
- A handful of raspberries and a slice of lemon.
- Two sage leaves and a handful of blackberries.
- Two mint leaves, a few cucumber slices and a slice of lemon.
- A couple of large strawberries, sliced, and a handful of blueberries.
- Two basil leaves, a couple of sliced strawberries, and an orange slice.
Next up on my list is watermelon chunks with fresh rosemary!
Have you ever tried to flavour your own water? Have any great flavours to add to our list?
About Jessica Quinn
Jessica Quinn is the regional manager of health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy, well and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.