water splashes out of class as it is poured

5 Healthy Drink Choices That Aren’t Water

The body is more than 60% water. While we can all strive to meet the recommended eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day for hydrating our billions of cells, the same taste can get bland to some.

Why not swap out a glass of water for a different beverage once in a while? Water provides essential hydration, but on its own, it lacks electrolytes that keep the balance of excreting and retaining fluids in check. You can also take advantage of certain nutritional advantages that you can’t get with just pure water.

Here are five options to consider when you want to enjoy a healthy drink other than water.

1. Vegetable Juice

Bottled brands provide 100% vegetable juice that can offer an additional serving of vitamins and minerals for your diet. Always read the ingredients and daily value percentages on the label, because some varieties include high salt levels as a preservative or added sugars under the guise of an energy blend.

You can also make vegetable juices at home with a powerful enough blender for smooth, nutritional beverages. Follow a recipe or experiment with your preferred veggies to make the most of the juice you drink.

2. Infused Water

Including some fruit in your water will enhance the healthiness of your beverage as well. Infused water can raise your intake of vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients by a small amount. A few small berries or slices of citrus make a flavorful combination, and you’re free to find your favorite mix. If you have a water infuser pitcher on hand, remember that it can pour refrigerated glasses for the whole family.

3. Milk

A supreme source of calcium and often fortified with vitamins D and A, milk supports a healthy body and healthy bones. The protein content in milk also helps repair muscles, which is perfect for those with active lifestyles.

People who avoid the lactose content in milk, either by preference or because of intolerance, can still enjoy nutritious alternatives such as soy milk in their diets.

4. Green Tea

Brewing a mug of water with tea leaves is a simple way to boost your nutrition at home. Many teas contain phytochemicals, the natural compounds that plants use for promoting growth and defense. For your body, that means fighting inflammation and lowering your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer. In addition, green tea provides a subtle energy boost from caffeine content, but you won’t experience a crash afterward.

5. Sparkling Water

People love that refreshing fizz found in ice-cold carbonated drinks. Before you go fishing out some change for a soda from the vending machine, try one of the many varieties of sparkling water instead. Available in 12-ounce cans or bottles, bubbly water can have hints of lemon, lime, strawberry or one of countless other flavors — and you’ll find zero-calorie options galore. Be on the lookout for added artificial sweeteners on the labels of some drinks, however.

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