Water is a source of life. How many times have you heard that expression? And, how many of those times have you stopped to ponder what it really means?

As you may well know, the body is 60% water, making proper hydration essential to ensure the right functioning of all our organs. In short: we can’t function without water.  That is why all diets and meal plans always include the recommendation to drink a minimum of one and a half litres of water per day. Besides, let’s not forget its potential as a weight loss aid, as it boosts the internal cleansing of the body, meaning that nutrient absorption and elimination of superfluous substances are carried out more efficiently.

However, it doesn’t always seem so easy to follow these simple indications, and we often have to force down that glass of water when we’re not even thirsty. There are also many who prefer having pop or other sugary drinks with meals, or even as thirst quenchers between mealtimes. Obviously, consumption of the latter doesn’t make up for mineral water, as their hydrating power is low, while their high sugar content adds on empty calories that only lead to weight gain.

Luckily, there are some alternatives to natural water that are just as nutritious, cleansing and healthy, some of them packing a hint of flavour that can make them easier to drink. These are some of them:

Plant waters

plant waters

The last trend in celebrity diets, and already a staple on supermarket shelves. Marketed as super drinks, ‘plant waters’ came about when coconut water extraction methods were applied to other plants.  It is, therefore, sap squeezed from the leaves or trunks of plants and trees like birch, aloe vera, maple, artichoke or even cactus.  They are notable for their ability to quickly hydrate the body due to their high nutrient and mineral salts content. They also help in lowering cholesterol, in detoxing and in improving skin elasticity.

Do exercise caution because some of these waters are highly caloric, making it advisable to study their specific properties in detail prior to consumption, to make sure they truly meet our expectations.

Water with oil

oil water

While it has always been said that these two ingredients don’t mix, it is also true that adding a few drops of flavoured essential oils to your glass of water can turn it into a very pleasant and nutritious tipple.

Fruit water

fruit water

As easy as adding a few pieces of apple or cucumber with a little sweetener and then leaving to macerate. The end product is a refreshing, sweet and natural drink that fizzy drinks have nothing on, besides being much healthier.

Teas and infusions

teas and infusions

Teas and infusions are ingrained in our own culture and in many others since practically the dawn of humanity.  That in itself is a hint as to their hydrating power and the value of their health benefits for the body. Their vitamin and mineral content is the magic recipe to prevent disease, while they also speed up the metabolism and help in weight loss.

Warm in the winter, and iced in the summer, teas and infusions should form part of any healthy diet and are a fantastic alternative to mineral water.