Is your glass of water hydrating you? It’s a simple question, with no easy answer. Our annual global consumption of bottled water is thought to have reached 398 billion liters, and yet many of us complain that we feel constantly thirsty. More worryingly, this is also contributing to the 1,500 plastic bottles discarded every second in the US, which end up as landfill or ocean waste; vast ‘garbage patches’ of plastic, most notably in the north and south Pacific. But now new research suggests that there are ways to supercharge your water, from adding salt and spices to drinking water pumped directly from the sea bed, which might go some way to alleviating our plastic problem. Here’s how to sip smarter…
Sprinkle some salt
It may sound counterintuitive, but adding salt to your drinking water can help prevent chronic dehydration (when you lose more fluid that you’re taking in). But avoid processed table salt and use sea or Himalayan salt instead, which contains traces of 84 nutrients and minerals. Just a pinch in a liter of water – you should barely be able to taste it – replenishes your body’s natural mineral content and satisfies thirst for longer.
Drink from the deep
Research from the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology shows that drinking refined deep sea water (DSW) pumped from a depth of over 200m can have many health benefits. The depth ensures the purity of the water, as pollution rises to the surface, and high levels of essential minerals including magnesium, calcium, potassium, chromium, selenium and zinc.
Spice it up
Inspired by Ayurvedic medicine, spiced water is said to balance our doshas (energies), soothe digestion and boost metabolism. Boost your morning’s warm lemon water with a pinch of red chilli or cayenne pepper: it’s an age-old Ayurvedic cleansing practice and a favorite of Beyoncé. For natural pain relief try fresh ginger in warm water, while a dash of cinnamon can regulate blood sugar levels.
Infuse with fruit
We are all familiar with lemon ‘detox’ spa water and while you gain some nutritional benefit from infusing water with fruit, you don’t ingest the fiber and vitamins as you would when blending or eating. But it makes water more interesting to drink and that can only be a good thing. “If it gets people drinking more water that has no artificial coloring and chemical vitamins, then that is what matters,” says Nashville-based dietitian nutritionist McKel Hill.
Add the right crystals
According to Julia Schoen and Sharon Leslie, the founders of New Orleans crystal-elixir bottle makers Glacce, you can “charge your water” by adding crystals. “Beyond their spiritual uses, crystals are transmitters of energy and are seen as a natural filter and purifier,” says Schoen. And while scientific evidence has previously been lacking, research at testing laboratory Hagalis AG in Germany is attempting to change that. Its independent study tested tap and crystallized water, and found that the latter had improved in quality and neutralization of harmful substances. There are two ways to make a crystal elixir: with the crystal directly touching the water; or placing stones in a sealed container surrounded by water. It’s important to note that while the direct method is considered the most powerful, certain crystals can release toxic substances, which is why you should only use safe ones: quartz (spiritually thought to promote grounding, success, love and forgiveness) and amethyst (said to attract calm, creativity and balance).
NOW HYDRATE YOUR SKIN
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