It is important to keep your body hydrated and in shape.
Drinking water is just one way of doing this and when combined with regular exercise and eating healthy, weight loss can be achieved.
However, drinking plain water can be considered boring when compared to other drinks available such as squash or fizzy drinks which often have more flavour.
Diet fizzy drinks at first glance sound great but generally anything “diet” or “low fat” are usually full of nasty chemicals and lots of unhealthy sugar alternatives namely aspartame or sorbitol, which have been known to trigger IBS symptoms causing bloating, stomach cramps and ironically sugar and salt cravings.
Squash is the next best alternative to water but it still adds unnecessary sugar to your diet.
But be cautious with sugar free squashes as again they often contain nasty sugar alternatives that can trigger bloating and stomach cramps.
So what can you drink?
I suggest trying out some of my homemade infused water recipes this post focuses on lemon and cucumber infused water.
So I will share these two examples with you today.
There are loads of varieties to try and it is a great way of getting nutrients and vitamins in your body, whilst staying hydrated and preventing water retention.
Water retention is one of the most common reasons people can feel bloated and struggle to loose weight.
It is important to drink at least 2-3 litres of water a day as a general guideline, but it depends how active you are and what you have eaten that day as to what your body individually requires.
The health benefits of lemon water
Lemon water is great for a body detox and cleanse, I have it every morning as part of my breakfast routine.
There are 7 scientifically proven health benefits:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces phlegm in the body
- High in potassium
- Alkalises your body reducing the chance of cold and flu viruses
- Helps your bowels to function properly, preventing constipation
- Relieves bloating
- Aids digestion
How much lemon should I use? How often should I drink it?
It is very important to use the correct quantity of lemon in your water, otherwise, you may suffer negative impacts such as fatigue and headaches as the detoxification can occur too rapidly causing you discomfort.
Half a lemon is recommended for people weighing under 150lbs (68kg) and a whole lemon for anyone over 150lbs per day.
It is advised you drink twice a day so a person under 150lbs like me could have quarter of a lemon in their water for breakfast and then the other quarter in the evening.
Does the water need to be hot?
The water should be at room temperature and preferably filtered water (I use a Brita water filter) for a more purer taste.
If the lemon water is too hot the health benefits are destroyed and too cold the digestive benefits are hindered.
Cucumber is great as it is naturally very high in water (over 95%), this allows the nutrients and health properties to seep into your water more easily resulting in maximum benefits for you!
Put 2 to 3 cucumber slices in a glass of room temperature water with a sprig of mint and ice if desired.
Mint has health benefits too such as clearer skin, better digestion and some studies say it evens whitens your teeth.
Health benefits of cucumber water
- Quick and effective hydration
- High in potassium and magnesium so it lowers your blood pressure
- Contains Vitamin A
- Aids digestion as it is high in fibre
- Clears your skin
- Reduces puffy eyes
- Reduces acne
You will glow from the inside out, so ditch fizzy diet drinks and upgrade to water.
Your body will thank you!