The Real Deal with Candice Deal: Winter Hydration Hacks

When the temps are freezing outside, the last thing I want is to down an eight-ounce glass of ice water. Brrr! Hydrating is essential to our mind and body health but staying hydrated in the winter can be harder if you’re shying away from drinks because they may be cold, choosing to order a hot, caffeinated drink or shying away from drinking water at all!

Finding your personal preference for hydrating in the colder months is key.  When you are feeling cold and don’t want an iced or chilled drink, opt for a hot drink that isn’t caffeinated.  Hot herbal teas are tremendously warming in the colder months, and you get the herbal benefits of teas while rehydrating your body. Many of the decaffeinated, herbal teas contain herbs like rose hips and hibiscus.  Rose hips are touted for their ability to lower blood pressure and reduce the signs of aging, and they are packed with antioxidants to help your body fight off cell damage from free radicals.  Hibiscus contains immunity boosting Vitamin C and antioxidants, and also supports the liver and helps fight inflammation.  While sipping on a hot cup of herbal tea you get the beautiful aromatic essence of the flowers and herbs, which makes them enjoyable any time of year, but most especially when it’s frightfully cold outside.

Enjoy your plain old H2O at room temperature.  There are some benefits to drinking your water at room temperature versus ice cold according to Ayurveda practices.  Drinking warm water in the morning is said to wake up the digestive track and essentially boost your daily metabolism.  Ordering your water without ice at a restaurant is a good idea if you tend to be prone to headaches or migraines.  Cold water is scientifically shown to restrict your blood vessels, while room temperature doesn’t have that same effect.  Ice cold water can vary from 32 to 37 degrees, while room temperature water may vary from 67 to 78 depending on how warm your room is.  Your body won’t get that jolt of a cooling effect from the sudden intake of a cold glass of water when you opt for no ice.  Drinking room temperature water may also keep you feeling more hydrated, while sipping cold water can increase your feeling of thirst.

Infused water can help boost hydration and your interest in drinking. Infused water can help boost hydration and your interest in drinking. Adding a small pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt can boost your glass of water’s electrolyte levels. Pink Himalayan sea salt also contains a wide variety of essential trace minerals which can help detoxify the body and boost energy, improve digestion and the health of your hair and nails. Avoid using plain table salt as that is 97.5% sodium chloride and excess can lead to issues including hypertension, kidney disorders and bone loss. Sodium is an essential mineral for good health, however, if you are on a low sodium diet per the doctor’s orders, it’s best to skip this altogether. If you are eating a very clean diet and eliminating processed foods, you may not actually be getting enough sodium in your diet, and this is a great hack to balance that out.

In addition to sea salt, you can use fresh ingredients to boost your water’s taste and hydration.  Use fresh fruits like lemons, berries, melons, and pineapple, or fresh vegetables like cucumber, spices like ginger and cinnamon sticks, and herbs like rosemary, lavender, and sage to infuse your water with nourishing ingredients that will be aromatic to your nose while you prepare and sip and reap the benefits of the extra hydration, vitamins, and minerals.  Citrus fruits, cucumber and herbs hold up well over time in the infusions and pack a punch of flavor and smell.  Berries are beautiful for color but don’t tend to add a ton of flavor.  If you like spicy, you can even infuse water with jalapenos for a kick!  The options of combinations to suit your specific preferences are endless.  When trying out infused water, plan on infusing for at least an hour and if you want a deeper infusion, infuse at room temperature and for longer times.  Then pour your creation over ice if you prefer it chilled.

If you aren’t drinking enough water because you find water, well, simply boring, there are many ways to jazz it up and make it taste and smell better without losing the hydrating benefits.

Happy Hydrating!

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