Hydrate with Liquids

Aug 18, 2023
21 Day Everyday Blog

Recipe: Ginger Tea

Our most recent 21 Days Every Day blog post was about hydrating food, which led to some emails with questions about various liquids other than water, so I thought it a good moment to review hydrating liquids.

  • Herb teas add to your daily count. Enjoy at will!

  • Homemade broth - either made by you or made by someone else - is a great hydrating liquid and counts towards your daily quota. (Not sure how much water you should aim for each day? Check out this article.) But, the broth that comes in a box (which is good for flavor, but not “medicinal” grade in terms of nutrient value) is usually so high in sodium that the net effect is dehydrating, not hydrating. So watch the sodium content of boxed broth or bouillon cubes. Salt is essential, but too much dehydrates.

  • On a related note, soups in general, whether made with a water base or a broth base, count toward your daily intake of water.

  • Green tea does contain some caffeine, and caffeine can be a diuretic, but the levels in green tea are low enough that the net effect is hydration. 

  • What about black tea and coffee? Traditionally they have been considered dehydrating; studies show that this depends on the amount of caffeine per cup, the number of cups you drink per day, if you are a daily or occasional caffeine drinker, and how your body responds to caffeine. And of course, caffeine has other effects on your body. So I think it safe to count one cup of black tea or coffee towards your daily water count if that feels accurate to your body. Personally, as a rare coffee drinker, I always find my body asking for some water afterward, so I don’t count those cups. 

  • Last week’s article pointed out that certain fruits are very high in water. So what about hydrating with fruit juice? Yes, and no. Yes, pure fruit juice can be 85% or more water. But the other % is sugar, and in juice form, you might drink the equivalent of a whole lot more fruit than you would if eating it. So yes you can count pure fruit juice toward your hydrating goals, but be mindful of the sugar intake and try not to drink more juice than you would eat as fruit! Or, simply infuse your water with a few slices of fruit. 

Sodas, energy drinks, and alcohol don’t count toward your daily intake. 

Conclusion: water and herb teas are the best ways to hydrate your body. Other liquids are great too but have some caveats.

We often think of ginger tea as a warming winter drink for supporting digestion and immunity. But it makes a great cool summer drink as well. Double this simple recipe for an even bigger batch to keep in your fridge. Mix half and half with sparkling water, use as the base for your shakes, or sip cool ginger on a hot afternoon. 

  • Add 2-3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger to 2 cups water. 

  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. 

  • Strain and drink warm, or room temperature, or cool in the refrigerator. 

  • Ratios of ginger and water can be adjusted to your preference.

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