Are you following the 8×8 recommendation? That’s drinking 8 eight-ounce servings of water per day. Yeah, me neither. Well, at least not as often as I should. You see, I’m a busy ER Nurse Practitioner. I work 12-hour shifts. It’s easy for time to fly by, and by the end of my shift, I am done for, dehydrated like a slug drowned in salt. Some days, I remember to chug water from my stainless steel container. But often, I’m guilty of being one of those health professionals with the motto, “Do what I say, not as I do.”  

Obviously, drinking water is really important. But water is just too boring to the average American set of tastebuds conditioned to crave salty and sweet. If you want to break up with H20, below are some healthy alternatives to water that will hydrate you while satisfying your taste buds. Some of these water alternatives are great surrogates for alcohol and soda if you’re trying to cut down or quit. 

So grab one of these liquid refreshments:

Sparkling Flavored Water

Add some carbonation and natural flavoring to water, and the liquid will transform from a bland beverage into a highly satisfying one. If only I had thought of the idea before I had four kids and a highly demanding job. Sales of sparkling flavored water are in the billions. 

One brand that I particularly enjoy is HOP WTR. It’s a unique beverage that contains three different types of hops, giving it an IPA (India Pale Ale) flavor. However, it’s important to note that HOP WTR is completely alcohol-free, sugar-free, and calorie-free. Essentially, it’s a non-alcoholic beer that’s not just about the taste but also the health benefits it offers. 

Hops make you feel calmer. In fact, several studies—like this one—suggest hops have a sedative-like effect. So maybe it’s not the booze that makes you feel good but the hops. But with HOP WTR, you get none of the grogginess the next morning. 

HOP WTR also contains ashwagandha, which is a type of adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic herbs, also known as adaptogens, help your body adapt to stress. But that’s not the only chill-out ingredient HOP WTR contains. It also features L-theanine, an amino acid abundant in green tea. L-THEA is great for focus and cognitive function. 

The cherry on top: HOP WTR is high in vitamin C, offering over 100% of the daily value of this important antioxidant.

Try a 12-pack of these HOP WTR flavors available on Amazon. (You can purchase it through my affiliate link which helps to keep this website running):

BLOOD ORANGE

LIME

MANGO

VARIETY PACK

Healthy Soda: No Longer An Oxymoron

It’s not too late to get on the healthy soda bandwagon. If you’re looking for an entrepreneurial idea to pitch to Shark Tank, consider starting your own healthy soda company. Yes, there is such a thing as healthy soda. And no, I’m not talking about diet soda, which is loaded with synthetic chemicals and artificial sweeteners. These fake sweeteners, even though they are calorie-free, actually increase cravings for sugar and unhealthy carbs, and disrupt your gut’s microbial balance. 

So, what is a healthy soda? It uses a natural sweetener that won’t cause an insulin spike. There’s nothing artificial or potentially cancer-causing. Even the coloring is all-natural. It contains zero calories. But it tastes just like a soda. 

The brand of healthy soda I really like is Zevia. They have flavors like cola, ginger ale, root beer, and cream soda. Mmmm, those flavors take me back to childhood. But now that I’m conscious of how food and drinks impact health, I don’t have to worry about the high glycemic index and insulin resistance that come with regular soda. 

Check out Zevia’s variety 20-pack here

Stress-Relief Drinks

When you drink a glass of water, it may relieve your thirst. But you’ll probably not feel euphoric after drinking it like you would a glass of wine or even a soothing cup of chamomile tea.

So, let’s get back to the stress-relieving effects of adaptogenic herbs. The brand, MOMENT, includes two adaptogenic herbs in its sparkling drinks: ashwagandha and ginseng. MOMENT also contains L-theanine. This Shark Tank-backed drink is low in calories (10-15 per can) and contains immune-supporting botanicals like hibiscus and mint. 

Learn more about MOMENT here

Of course, any herbal tea, hot or cold, is a good stress-relieving alternative to water.

Meal Replacement Shakes

Healthy shakes kill two birds with one stone. They can replace a regular meal and hydrate. Normally, I’m not an advocate of meal replacement shakes. In a perfect world, we would all eat two or three well-balanced, nourishing meals. But ain’t nobody got time for that. At least not every day. Especially in my line of work. That’s where K’Chava comes in. It’s got over 85 superfoods from plant-based ingredients. 

Keep in mind that, as Americans, we are overfed and undernourished. That means we eat high-calorie foods that have little or no nutrition. And that’s one reason why we still feel hungry after eating fast food. Yes, there’s the artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke. And the high fructose corn syrup in ketchup, both of which block the signal to our brains that we’ve had enough to eat. But post-meal hunger is our body’s way of saying, hey, I didn’t get enough nutrients. 

K’Chava includes all the macronutrients you need to stay full: carbs, protein and fats. But nutrition labels don’t always tell the whole story. Phytonutrients are micronutrients in plants that keep us healthy. 

Meal replacement shakes are a great way to lose weight. Simply substitute one meal a day. I prefer to use K’Chava as breakfast because I’m not typically very hungry in the morning. Just remember to eat one or two other nourishing and filling meals for the rest of the day. Or you can drink a serving of K’Chava as an in-between snack surrogate. 

LEARN MORE here.

Healthy Alternatives To Water: Spa Water

Finally, if you’ve ever been to a day spa for a massage or a facial, many of them offer water with slices of cucumber and/or strawberry added. This is what I call spa water. If you need to spice up your water, add cucumber and strawberry slices to a water pitcher. Place in the fridge, and voila—a tasty alternative to plain Jane water.

What’s your favorite alternative to water?

P.S. I’m also a functional medicine practitioner. So if you need health coaching or want to discover the root cause of your symptoms, schedule an appointment with me if you’re in the Norfolk, NE area.

Until next time,
Jenna Witt, NP