Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Hot - What are you Drinking?

It’s the first day of summer and it’s Hot - Hot - Hot!
We all know it’s important to stay hydrated no matter what time of year it is, but it’s particularly important to drink lot’s of fluids when the mercury’s rising. Did you know that thirst does not always accompany mild dehydration? As we age, our sense of thirst diminishes so it’s important to make sure we drink fluids regularly whether we feel thirsty or not.
Considering the human body is 60-70% water, water’s the obvious choice for hydration, but when asked why they don’t drink enough, most people will tell you it’s because they find water boring.
So-ooo - It’s time for Iced Tea!
True teas - Black, Green, White and Oolong Teas - all come from the Camellia Sinensis plants, which grow in Asia. They contain polyphenol antioxidants which aids in protecting our bodies from cancers, strengthens our immune defense, increases our metabolism - which in turn aids in weight loss, and may even help reduce heart attack and stroke.
Herbal teas, also known as tisane, are not considered true teas unless paired with the teas above. However, made from fragrant blends of flowers, herbs, roots and spices, they can be even more flavorful and equally refreshing - many containing health benefits as well - such as ginger teas which aid in digestion, chamomile teas which assist with relaxation and at the other end, mint teas which are naturally invigorating.
During the summer I keep glass pitchers constantly on hand, brewing four tea bags at a time in sixty-four ounces of hot water, chilling in the fridge once the tea has cooled down to room temperature.
My favorites are Pomegranate White Tea, Organic Ginger Pear White Tea, and Organic Mint Melange Tea, which can all be found at Trader Joe’s. 
On particularly hot days, I carry mint iced tea in my water bottle for my morning workouts. It’s refreshing and naturally cooling.
Unsweetened, Iced tea is the perfect refreshment, because it contains very few if any calories. If you find you still need sweeteners, here’s a tip that will help break the habit. Sweeten your tea with your regular sweeteners and drink as usual. Each week, reduce the sweetener by one teaspoon. Your tastes will gradually adapt as you make the adjustments until eventually you may find you don’t rely on any sweeteners at all.

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