Beverages: Part 2
We talked about the benefits of drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day in the last article. We also mentioned that substituting herbal teas and carbonated or flavoured water can give you additional health benefits that you won’t get with regular water. We will look more closely at these two alternatives and conclude with a few ideas on how to reduce your sugar intake and your urge for yet another cup of joe!
Herbal teas come in many varieties. You want to look for ones which are caffeine-free (which the majority are) and ones that offer health benefits. There are countless types of herbal teas – some are very flavourful like rosehip, pear or apple – and some are therapeutic in nature, like chamomile, peppermint or ginger.
Many people use herbal teas to satisfy their sugar cravings or use them to appease their desire for desserts. The health benefits of herbal teas are numerous and adding them into your daily plan will only support your goals of improved health and well-being.
Carbonated & Flavoured Water
Eliminating fruit juice and soda pop from your diet may be your biggest challenge. If this is the case, you should consider substituting carbonated and/or flavoured water in its place.
You may be surprised to find out that your addiction to soda pop is really an addiction to the carbonation of the beverage only. Carbonated water alone may satiate those cravings. For those who require more taste, consider adding lemon, cucumber or other fruits and vegetables to your water. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much flavour can be derived from doing so.
One last item here: the greatest obstacle many people face when starting a nutrition plan is suppressing their yearning for sugar. If you find yourself facing these intense cravings, you’re advised to start by weaning yourself off rather than stopping cold turkey.
Once your body begins adjusting to smaller amounts of sugar intake, it will only be a matter of time before you can eliminate it completely. Don’t forget that sugar stimulates the same pleasure centres in your brain that drugs do, so it may be a struggle at first. But once you do overcome this desire, your body will respond in ways that will be sure to amaze you.
Coffee and Tea
You can enjoy your coffee and tea throughout the day, but here are two caveats; don’t drink too many (limit yourself to one or two) and follow up with a glass of water.
First, coffee and tea contain caffeine. Now the amounts of caffeine will vary depending on the brand and size of serving, but the caffeine they do contain will have a mild diuretic effect – meaning they may cause the need to urinate. Although this effect is minor, it’s worth following up with a glass of water to balance this out.
Second, excess consumption of caffeinated products – coffee and tea included – can lead to headaches and sleep interruption. These two side effects will hamper your body’s ability to adequately rest when it’s time to do so.
You don’t want to deprive yourself of a warm cup of tea or coffee. Just remember to limit your consumption.
When it comes to beverages in our Meal Planning Systems, this is it! All you need to remember is to:
– Consume 6-8 glasses of water of day
– Substitute herbal teas or carbonated and/or flavoured water if you so desire
– Limit your coffee or tea consumption to two cups per day
Nourishing your body with the appropriate fluid levels will ensure dehydration doesn’t occur. Staying hydrated will lead to optimal functioning of all of your body systems and will leave you feeling and looking better than you can imagine. Consuming 6-8 glasses of water per day will make certain this happens.