Are Plant Based Waters Better For You? These 4 Drinks Make Hydrating A Little Less Bland
Thanks to the ridiculous heat of summer, it's a constant struggle to make sure you're sipping steadily throughout the day to stay hydrated. Personally, there are only so many glass of water I can drink before I'm craving something more interesting. If you can relate, stick with me for a sec, because I'm going to suggest something a little out there: plant-based water. Now, if you've had coconut water, you've already tried a plant-based bev, and believe it or not, there are so many other types of unique plant drinks to taste. But are plant-based waters better for you than regular water? It turns out they can be major sources of important nutrients, but according to some experts, you still need to drink some of the regular stuff, too.
Be careful if you're thinking about swapping all of your plain water for fancier stuff. According to naturopathic physician and certified nutritionist Dr. Pamela Reilly, while plant-based waters do provide nutrients that plain water cannot, cutting regular H2O out of your life completely isn't a good idea. "I always encourage my clients to ask themselves whether they would pour the beverage into their car's radiator," Reilly tells Elite Daily over email. "If their vehicle won't run well on something other than purified water, neither will they. I recommend not using plant waters for more than half the purified water they should be drinking."
The key here is to keep things as natural as possible. Dr. Reilly suggests steering clear of additives like sugars, corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and synthetic vitamins and minerals. And speaking of those additives, registered dietitian and holistic nutritionist Kristen Morrell echoes Dr. Reilly's warning: She tells Elite Daily that some additives, even the ones that are labeled as "natural flavorings," are sometimes derived from seriously weird places, like the anal glands of beavers. Yum, right? Thankfully, plenty of plant-based waters are anal-gland-free, and full of good-for-you stuff. Here's a guide to some of them to get you started.
Aloe Vera Water Can Settle A Bad Stomach
This sticky green plant can do a whole lot more for you than decorate your apartment or soothe a raging sunburn. Yes, aloe vera water is a thing, and according to Dr. Reilly, it's a good thing. If your stomach has been bothering you, give this plant-based water a try, because it can help relieve your digestive issues and even constipation, she tells Elite Daily.
However, make sure you're drinking aloe vera water, and not straight aloe vera juice, because the undiluted stuff can cause some serious diarrhea, Morrell says. You can be sure you're getting only the best ingredients by DIY-ing your own coconut cucumber aloe water with this recipe from Hello Glow.
Coconut Water Is A Tastier Way To Hydrate
Perhaps the best-known plant-based water, this sweet, natural drink is the perfect choice if you're looking to refuel after some time in the summer sun, because it's not only a natural salve for sunburn, but it's also great for warding off dehydration, says Dr. Reilly. She recommends coconut water as a substitute for sports drinks, which can oftentimes contain a lot of extra sugar. "[Coconut water] contains high levels of natural electrolytes and trace minerals," she tells Elite Daily. Yum.
Barley Water Has All The Goods
This mildly creamy drink (thanks to that good gluten) dates as far back as ancient Greece, and apparently, the Greeks knew what they were doing. Besides being fortified with fiber, the addition of the whole grain to your water may also reduce your cholesterol and help promote gut health, according to Medical News Today.
If you want to make your own honey lemon barley water at home, this recipe from The Spruce Eats is super simple to follow.
Birch Water Is A Treat For Your Teeth
Many beverages contain lots of sugar, which can cause cavities. But birch water is both sweet and great for your teeth, according to Morrell. "It actually contains a natural sugar known as xylitol," she tells Elite Daily, "which doesn’t impact your blood sugar and insulin the way regular sugar and other sweeteners do, and it has been found to help prevent cavities."