How to make water more interesting to drink.
We all know that H2O is the number one choice for keeping us hydrated — but it sure can be boring to drink.
Wondering how we can keep both hydrated and interested, we hit up accrediting practising dietitian Milly Smith for her tips on making water more palatable.
Stick stuff in it
It might not have the potency of cordial, but Smith says the sky is the limit in terms of what you can put in water to give it some taste.
"Add some fresh or frozen fruit to your water," suggests Smith, who is a spokesperson for the Dietitian's Association of Australia.
"Things like berries, slices of orange or a squeeze of lime juice. They only add a subtle flavour but it can be enough flavour to encourage you to drink a bit more without getting bored."
Herbs and certain vegetables can also add a more savoury appeal.
"I quite like cold water with ice, mint leaves and sliced cucumber," Smith says.
The sky is the limit these days when it comes to tea flavours and Smith says that herbal teas are a great way of upping your fluids.
"Some of my favourites are peppermint, lemongrass and ginger and chamomile," she says.
"They are caffeine-free and add to your water intake throughout the day.”
Count your first couple of coffees
You might have heard that caffeinated drinks are dehydrating, but Smith says it comes down to quantity.
"We've found that around two cups of coffee or five cups of black tea won't act as a diuretic," she explains.
"If a drink has diuretic effect, it means that we lose a lot of the fluid in our urine so we're not getting the hydration from it. But in the quantities of two cups of coffee or five cups of tea, there is not that effect.”
Carbonate some interest
Whether you have a SodaStream or buy mineral water by the bottle, Smith says some bubbles can boost water appeal.
"If you go towards soft drinks, soda water can be a better option without added sugar or calories," she says.
"You can also flavour them with frozen or fresh fruits or vegetables.”
Milk extra taste
Whether you're a dairy, soy or nut milk drinker, they all count for hydration and may offer some extra nutrition as well.
"Dairy and calcium-fortified soy milk contain other great nutrients like protein and calcium," Smith explains.
"And they count towards our water intake."
Nut milks can count as hydration, but Smith says they may not have the same protein or calcium count — so she suggests being wary of adding extra kilojoules without as much nutrition.
Use your sometimes foods
Drinks like diet soft drink and coconut water have more flavour and can count for hydration but Smith says you would only want to use them occasionally as treat options.
"Coconut water still has sugar in it so it can add up to a lot of extra calories in the day," she says.
"Similarly with fruit juice – we'd want to be limiting our intake because you're better off eating whole fruit that has fibre to give us fullness and help slow down the absorption of the sugars in fruit.”
Prep a pot of soup
If you make a delicious vegetable soup, the broth counts as hydration.
"Most store-bought varieties are quite high in salt so they are not something that we want to be consuming a large amount of," Smith says.
"But home-made soups can be hydrating and a good source of fluid as long as you don't add too much salt."
NOTE: I love to add Young Living vitality oils to my water they are not acidic like lemon rind and are gentler on your teeth. Remember, to stay away from plastic straws as Essential Oils will pull the toxins out of the plastic. Use a metal or glass straw, there are so many fun ones to chose from these days. My choice is kleen Kanteen metal straw with a silicone color end so it is gentle on the lips.