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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Benefits of increasing water consumption and a delicious recipe!

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We have all heard before that you are supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day.  But why?  Is there a real reason behind that magic number?  I don't know about you, but I for one find it actually really hard to make it through that much water a day.
I did a little research to find out why we need so much water a day, and what the actual benefits are.  The CDC states that water helps your body regulate it's temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and aid in getting rid of waste.
Infusing water naturally is a great way to enjoy  those 8 glasses painlessly!
I dug a little deeper and found some added benefits. 

  • Water helps your kidneys.  When your kidneys have enough fluid they are able to help cleanse and flush your body of toxins.  Increasing your fluid intake can also help prevent kidney stones.  Sounds pretty beneficial to me!
  • Water can help control your calories.  If you're drinking enough water you probably aren't craving the sugary high-calorie drinks you might normally reach for.  Also, foods high in water content take up more space and help you feel fuller.  Think things like fruits, vegetables, beans, soups, etc.
  • Water can help kick-start your metabolism.  Many people recommend drinking a full glass of water before every meal.  Not only will it help with your metabolism and digestion, but you also won't be as hungry and won't feel the need to eat as much.  Pretty natural way to achieve portion control!
  • Water can help energize your body and muscles.  Particularly if you are getting ready to exercise, making sure that your muscles have adequate fluid will prevent fatigue and increase stamina.
  • Water helps with the appearance of your skin.  Skin is made up of 64% water, so replenishing the water that you loose throughout the day can prevent a dull appearance, wrinkles and even blemishes.  Say what?  How could water be the best skin care routine, its free?!  From what I read I learned that without proper hydration your skin can appear duller, and wrinkles or blemishes become more prominent.  Women's Health states that as we increase our water intake our skin plumps up, filling in cracks, wrinkles and pores.  As a bonus when our skin is hydrated, plump and elastic, it is less likely to crack and let in external particles that can cause future blemishes.  Check out this article if you would like to read more!
So overall I've learned that Water can give my skin a healthier appearance, energize my body, help cut down on wasted caloric intake, positively effect my metabolism and digestion, and improve my kidney function.  To me these look like huge benefits without needing to go out and spend any money.


But, the hardest part is actually drinking the water.  A while ago I created a blog post with a recipe for some really yummy Naturally Flavored Water.  Check it out for a very fruity and delicious water recipe.

I decided to make another simple one the other day.  By making my water interesting I find it easier to drink the recommended amount.  And, I'm not spending money on pre-flavored water.  In addition, since this is natural I don't have to worry about extra additives or unnecessary sugar additions.
Strawberries and fresh Mint from the garden ready to infuse water!
We still have a decent amount of Mint in our garden from this summer, and I had some strawberries left in the fridge, so I decided to make a Strawberry-Mint flavored water.  I gathered my supplies, sliced the strawberries and muddled the mint leaves, and then I filled my water bottle with freshly filtered water.

Add in 20 oz. of water and let sit overnight, lovely and subtle flavor the next day!
I stuck the water in the fridge and let it sit over night.  Then in the morning I filtered out the strawberries and mint, tossed in a few ice cubes and enjoyed!  

I used 4 strawberries and about 2 full sprigs of Mint, and my water bottle holds 20 oz. of water.  This is equal to about 2.5 cups of water.  The flavor was subtle but tasty!  If you want a stronger flavor you could also muddle the strawberries, or increase the amount you use.  

I finished the full 20 oz. at my desk that morning, and barely even realized that I was already 1/3 of the way finished with the recommended water intake for the day!

For me, this is a great alternative.  I enjoy water, but when I have to force myself to drink 8 glasses I'm less inclined to drink.  There are so many different ways to flavor your water, I would encourage you to see what flavors you have an play around.  This week I think I will be trying a watermelon basil flavor, mainly because I have basil from the garden I need to use before it's too late in the season!

What flavors would you enjoy?


All content, including text and original photos, are copyrighted and property of Jen Caffelle

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