We all know that staying hydrated is extremely important. We also know that water is and will always be the best source of hydration.
The problem is drinking plain water all the time can get boring. Which is why many individuals, especially those who tend to workout on a regular basis, are constantly looking for alternatives.
We decided to compile a list of the top 5 water alternatives and rank them from best to worst. Hopefully this information will help you stay hydrated and healthy.
When it comes to staying hydrated infused water is without a doubt the best alternative to plain old water.
You can find it at just about any local grocery store and for the most part they are relatively affordable.
Please note that not all infused water options are created equal. Some are loaded with artificial sweeteners and flavorings which make them very unhealthy.
If you’re up for it, the best option is to make your own infused water. You can use a combination of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables to come up with something you will enjoy sipping on throughout the day.
Adding salt to your water is a great way to enhance the flavor, replace any sodium that has been lost, and give cellular function a boost.
There are different combinations of salt and other ingredients you can add to make your water more drinkable.
There are various different salts you can use in your water. The most popular options would be Himalayan salt and sea salt.
To make the water easier to absorb consider adding in a teaspoon of magnesium citrate powder.
The third option you have are electrolyte drinks. Electrolyte drinks are great because they are full of flavor. The problem is they also tend to be full of sugar and calories. One drink could easily be 250 calories or more.
Luckily there are plenty of sports drinks that are low in sugar. You may have to do a little searching around but they can be found.
According to Sylvia North, a registered dietitian, the best way to stay hydrated is to drink water that contains sugar free electrolytes. This will help you counteract the loss of electrolytes due to exercise.
Most people wrongly believe that the caffeine found in coffee does not keep you hydrated because of its diuretic effect.
While those who don’t drink coffee on a regular basis may find that coffee causes them to run to the bathroom more, for most people that simply isn’t the case.
A study published in PLOS ONE showed that when men who have been accustomed to caffeine drink coffee in moderation, they are hydrated in almost the exact same way as when they drink water.
The Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics also published a study on this topic. Their study showed no clear reason why individuals shouldn’t drink caffeinated drinks such as coffee. Especially if it can help with fluid balance.
Even though those two studies find no negative impact associated with drinking coffee, that doesn’t mean you should go crazy and drink as much as you want.
As with all things, moderation is the key. You must know your limit and not go beyond it. It is recommended you not go over 600 milligrams of caffeine per day.
Once you get to around 650 milligrams it can start to affect your kidneys in a negative way. Instead of helping you stay hydrated you will start to lose water.
Needless to say, this is not something you want to happen. So make sure you know the limitations and stick to them.
The great thing about coconut water is how delicious it is. You can literally drink it all day. And while it is very hydrating, it is also very high in carbohydrates and added sugars.
So when you really think about it, is it a great option for staying hydrated? The answer to that question is yes and no.
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study that found that those who drank coconut water and coconut water concentrate experienced more gastrointestinal issues after working out than those who drank a sports drink with electrolytes.
Based on this information it may be best to drink coconut water only on the days when you don’t workout.
While we have shared 5 different options for staying hydrated, we will also recommend you continue drinking as much pure water as you can.
While these alternatives will help with hydration, none of them can do for your body what pure water can.
As with all things, we suggest you drink these 5 alternatives in moderation. You should never view them as a replacement for water. Everyday you should still aim to drink at least of gallon of water.
Doing so will help you stay regular and keep toxins from building up in your body.