One of the most beneficial things that you can do for your pain level is to be sure that you’re fully hydrated. There is a rule of thumb for how much water you should drink each day. In general, you should drink half of your weight in ounces of water each day. However, you will need more if you are very active, or if you are drinking caffeine or alcohol, which are dehydrating.
Water is one of the most important components of detoxification. If you have too much estrogen built up in your system, you’re at risk for ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and breast cancer. While there are lots of fancy and great ways to detox, none of them work well without a lot of WATER!
We all know that we should drink lots of water, but my clients are constantly complaining about being bored with the taste of water. So, I have come up with a few ideas about how to spice up your beverage selection without adding sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine or alcohol. (The benefits and harms of caffeine and alcohol can be so confusing that we will save those two for another post.)
Spa water. Mmmmm… spa water. Doesn’t that sound good? It is very simple, and it transforms you right to your dream spa vacation (in your mind.) Fill a large glass pitcher, the fanciest one that you have, with pure filtered water. Then, slice up some fruit. Lemons, oranges, limes, grapes, watermelon, and/or cantaloupe are good options. Float some fruit slices in the pitcher and enjoy! Extra credit if you drink yours out of your favorite Cabernet goblets. You can also enjoy sparkling spa water with some San Pellegrino or Perrier.
Tea. Black and green teas both naturally contain caffeine. Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the most knowledgeable physicians around about tea and health, had a few things to say about decaffeinated teas (Weil, 2009). You can buy decaffeinated tea, but one method of decaffeination uses the solvent ethyl acetate, which removes most of the tea’s beneficial polyphenols. So, if you use decaf teas, chose those that were decaffeinated using only water and carbon dioxide. This method is called effervescence. He used to recommend steeping a regular tea bag for 45 seconds then throwing away that tea, steeping it again and drinking the second brew. But, he later updated his information when he learned that that method is actually not effective for removing much of the caffeine.
My recommendation is that you explore the world of herbal and rooibos teas. Both contain minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. I love mint tea for a morning energy boost. My favorite afternoon treat is a vanilla almond, coconut, or chai rooibos (if you like it milky, add almond milk), and at night I really get quite drowsy with a warm cup of chamomile or Sleepytime tea.
Here are some of my favorite selections:
Tazo Vanilla Rooibos (this is usually available at Starbucks)
http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/sleepytime-teas/sleepytime-vanilla (careful it really does put you to sleep)
Tazo Refresh Mint Tea
Now get out there and hydrate! Share your favorite delicious way to hydrate in the comments below. I love new ideas!
Weil, A (2009). Decaffeinating Tea. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400659/Decaffeinating-Tea.html Referenced on February 27, 2012.