NGC*: Spa Water

Healthy Spa Water with Fruit

I’ve talked previously about how being adequately hydrated is a NGC. But drinking plain water day after day can become boring. A solution is to mix it up – to reignite your interest with flavoured water (a.k.a. spa water). When I mention flavouring water, your mind likely jumps to lemon water. Here are 2 warnings when choosing flavoured waters.

Acid & Tooth Enamel Now don’t get me started on how there is no evidence that lemon water is the miracle cure that it’s touted to be all over the internet. Unfortunately there is a downfall from all the attention that lemon water is getting. The natural acid that’s in citrus fruits (e.g. lemon, lime, orange) can cause weakening of your tooth enamel, especially if you sip on them all day, day after day. Kiwi and pineapple are also quite high in acid. To save your tooth enamel, mix it up. Choose non-citrus options more often and choose citrus options only occasionally.

Hidden Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners The other common downfall to avoid is that many flavoured waters that you can buy contain hidden sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. I’m not against the occasional use of artificial sweeteners, afterall, officially they are approved as safe for use in Canada. However, one of the overarching truths in which I believe when it comes to nutrition is: “food closest to the way nature made them are the healthiest choice”. Artificial sweeteners are far from nature. Therefore, stick with drinks that are close to nature for your day in and day out water consumption.

Spa Water Ideas: Here are some low-acid, low-sugar and artificial sugar-free spa water options. The herbs have the lowest natural acids (i.e. none). The fruits all have a little bit of acid. But don’t focus on what these drinks don’t have, instead focus on what they do have – fantastic flavour! I call them “spa water” – doesn’t that sound luxurious? Feel free to bring out your inner mixologist to create your favourite flavour combinations.

• Mint • Rosemary • Lemon Verbena • Sage • Basil • Cucumber • Watermelon • Berries such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries • Iced green tea • Iced herbal tea • Kombutcha • Concord or coronation grapes

*A Nutrition Game Changer (NGC) is a food or habit that has made a big impact on the nutritional health of clients I’ve worked with. And, in my life too. Some may call these nutrition hacks. But I'm not a fan of that phrase. I share one NGC each month.

NGC: Are You Drinking Enough?

are you drinking enough

Want to know a subtle and sneaky thing that could be making you feel tired and irritable? Giving you headaches? The answer is mild dehydration. Or, on the flip-side, drinking enough fluids is a super easy way to give you more energy and improve your mood. Who doesn’t want that this time of year (and all year long)?! Being adequately hydrated will also help you digest foods well, circulate nutrients throughout your body, and keep you regular. Which only leaves one question: how much do you need to drink? Is the popular advice of “8 glasses of water a day” right? In short, no.

Are You Drinking Enough?

How much fluids you need depends on your body size and how much you sweat. A good starting place is:

  • 2.2 Litres (9 cups) for women
  • 3 Litres (12 cups) for men

Your needs will vary from this if you’re particularly petite, large, physically active, or vacationing in a hot location. Your individual sweet spot is the amount of fluids where your pee is clear to light yellow, but you’re not needing to pee non-stop all day and night. Start with the amount I’ve listed above and adjust to find your sweet spot.

Now I need to address a couple of things that you’ve likely heard about drinks and hydration:

  1. Coffee is dehydrating. Myth. That’s right, this one isn’t true. Coffee and tea aren’t dehydrating. Go ahead and count them towards your cups of fluid per day.
  2. Alcohol is dehydrating. True. Yes, alcohol is dehydrating. (Now you know why I planned this Nutrition Game Changer for the holiday season.) Add an extra 1 – 2 glasses of fluids for each glass of wine, beer, or booze that you drink.

So, What Counts Towards Drinking Enough Fluids?

  • Water (plain, fizzy, or flavoured).
  • Juice (fruit or veggie).
  • Coffee, tea, herbal tea.
  • Milk and plant-based milk alternatives.
  • Broth and soup.
  • Pop (or “soda” for you American readers). Yes, it does count. But relying on it frequently will send you over the recommended amounts of sugar.
  • Electrolyte drinks (e.g. sports dinks). They have a role if you are exercising for 1 hour or longer and/or sweating excessively (e.g. in a hot and humid location, wearing heavy equipment). That sweat you’re losing is salty so you need to replace both fluids and the salt (a.k.a. electrolytes). Athletes in training will have additional fluid and nutrient needs. That’s a different situation than I’m covering in this post. If it describes you, I recommend connecting with a sports dietitian.

[Note: a Nutrition Game Changer (NGC) is a food or habit that has made a big impact on the nutritional health of clients I’ve worked with. And, in my life too. Some may call these nutrition hacks. But I'm not a fan of that phrase. I share one NGC each month.]

Curious about how I can help you achieve your health and nutrition goals? Schedule a (free) call to find out.

Could Drinking More Water Really Make You Happier?

Drinking More Water Really Make You Happier

Could drinking more water really make you happier? Some of the symptoms of mild dehydration are tiredness and irritability. Imagine if drinking some more fluids could be the secret to being happier? Now that’s worth a try!

The fluid recommendations are 2.7 Litres of total fluid per day for women and 3.7 Litres of total fluids for men (age 19 – 70 who aren’t intense athletes, living in 30 degree C or hotter weather, or pregnant/ breastfeeding). But those are the recommendations for total fluids – including everything you drink and the liquid naturally found in food. And, when I look closely at the evidence on which they created those recommendations, it isn’t super strong.

My personal experience is that people feel their best on a bit more water than is recommended. That’s why I recommend that women drink 2.5 Litres of water (or other naturally sugar-free and decaffeinated beverages). And, men drink 3.5 Litres of water.

Your other beverages and the fluid in your foods will be on top of this water.

Reach this level for a few days and see how you feel. Then, slowly decrease the amount of water that you’re drinking and take note of how you feel. You’ll find the sweet spot between needing to pee constantly, and having good energy.

Curious about how I can help you achieve your health and nutrition goals? Schedule a (free) call to find out.