By Nancy Smorch
It’s summertime and the heat is turned up, so it’s really important to make sure you are drinking enough water. How much water do you drink each day?
When working with some people and I ask them this question, they tell me that they hate the taste of water. I didn’t realize water had that much taste?
Well, I actually take that back. Some well water can have a sulfur-like taste to it and some city water (especially at restaurants) can have a chlorine-like taste to it. So, I guess I can kind of understand where they are coming from.
Funny story - one of the students from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition told the story of how she was asked to help a man who was complaining of a dry mouth. He had gone to all kinds of doctors and they weren’t much help. He was finally diagnosed with “Dry Mouth Syndrome." When he met with the student, she asked him what he drank during the day. He said he drank about 5 pops throughout the day. She asked if he drank coffee. He said he did - about 6 cups a day. She asked how much water he drank. He said, maybe, 1 cup a day. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. She recommended he increase the amount of water he drank each day, which eventually “crowded out” the pop and coffee, and his “Dry Mouth Syndrome” went away - a miraculous recovery!
Aside from being diagnosed with Dry Mouth Syndrome, does this scenario sound familiar to you or someone you know? Do you know people who use pop or beer to quench their thirst? They might think it’s working, but it’s really not - it’s actually dehydrating them. Nonetheless, it’s important to stay well hydrated year round, but it’s especially important to make sure you’re drinking enough water this time of year, because you may be losing more water through perspiration. So if you’re not big into the “flavor” of water, try adding some fruit, vegetables, or herbs to water and let it steep for a bit (at least 20 minutes or so) to let the flavors release into the water.
A little planning ahead can go a long way. Try to make your choice of flavored water first thing in the morning, right when you wake up. Then it will be ready when you want it.
Do you have a hard time getting your kids to drink water? Get them involved in making their own special blends of flavored water. Kids are always more likely to eat or drink something they have helped prepare - let them go crazy and have fun with it. So they want to put grapes and watermelon in some water? Tell them to go for it. They think cantaloupe and blueberries sound interesting? Let them try it. Kids are so good at thinking outside the box, they will probably come up with a combination you would have never thought of and it may end up being your favorite combination!
So, over the weekend, here’s what I put in my water:
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Mike and I really liked it. It wasn’t sweet, so don’t try this one expecting something sweet. Some would recommend adding stevia if you want something sweet. I’m still not sold on stevia, although a lot of others are. You’ll have to make that call.
Today, I made some more flavored water and tried this combination:
Fresh lime juice
That was really good as well. Lindsey even liked that one. Serve it up in a wine glass, and it tastes even better.
With all of the fresh fruits and vegetables available this time of year, the possibilities are endless. I think tomorrow I’ll try adding pitted cherries.
Actually, I’ve got some fresh lavender growing in the garden. A couple of years ago I made some fresh lavender lemonade, so maybe I’ll try:
Fresh lavender flowers
Fresh lemon juice
You could even have a contest with your family - see who can come up with the best-tasting combination. Oh, the fun you can have :)
Let me know if you try something you really like and share it with the rest of us.
Stay cool and stay hydrated!