Updated: Jul 7, 2021
One of the best habits you can instill for energy, weight loss, great skin, and stellar cognitive ability is drinking more water. I think (hope?) most of us know at this point that we should not be drinking sugary soda that comes with a slew of harmful effects. Still, many of us aren't drinking the amount of good drinks we need either. I'm all about the 'why' or the 'what's in it for me,' so I think it's important to know the benefits of water, the benefits of green tea, and the benefits of coffee.
My favorite drinks are water, tea, and coffee. I do also drink other beverages, and I still probably take in the unnecessary calories and harmful effects of alcoholic beverages more often than I should. If you can get to the point, though, where water, tea, and coffee make up the large majority of your drinks, and you're taking in at least 64 ounces of water each day, you're doing great.
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Water is amazing. It helps oxygen flow through your body, it's great for your skin, it helps the digestive system work correctly and flush waste, and it boosts performance. Hydrating flushes toxins and helps nutrients get to your cells. It minimizes irritation and can make you feel so much better if you have a headache or allergies.
Drinking water is also great for weight loss. Every time you choose to drink water over soda, juice, or alcohol, you are making a small choice to reduce sugar and unnecessary calories and prioritize your health. Additionally, drinking a glass of water before eating has been proven to result in significant weight loss over time. So, yeah, drink lots of water.
Get a good water bottle you absolutely love and bring it with you everywhere. Every day, drink at least 64 ounces of water (more if you exercise) by the time you’re done with work. When you get this out of the way earlier in the day, you’re no longer worried about tracking your water, and you have a much better chance of not getting up three times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I love both sparkling water and plain ol' clean water, and I always have some by my side.
Always have a full glass of water:
Right when you wake up, before you drink tea or coffee or anything else
Before each meal to help prevent overeating and support weight loss/management
Before bed when you’ve been drinking (normally I would not suggest water right before bed, but your sleep is going to be wonky anyways and this water will give you a much better chance of not waking up and feeling awful)
Benefits of Hydration
Improves energy levels and brain function
Improves working memory and decreases anxiety and fatigue
Improves weight loss
Improves skin tone and texture
Helps prevent and treat headaches
Helps prevent hangovers
Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically. Make sure you keep your reusable water bottle close by and use it often. Set a reminder on your phone if need be (or get one of the many apps out there that can help you track water - this is the one I use). When you feel like switching it up, absolutely get some sparkling water, or even just a fancy bottle that'll let you infuse fruit flavors into your water (this one even has a motivational time marker to help you remember to drink more!). Alternatively, try a bottle that actually makes your water more alkaline to kickstart your metabolism, hydrate more efficiently, and just have better tasting water.
Water is what I drink the most often, but I'm also a huge fan of variety (caffeine ain't all that bad either). Coffee and tea by themselves are great without sugar and cream. Coffee has high levels of antioxidants and can help you live longer, increase stamina, and boost mood. Tea is even better. Just be careful to avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep.
Tea is rich in polyphenols, natural compounds that have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer. Green tea contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a natural antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. Some compounds in green tea help protect against cancer and heart disease as well, so green tea may also help you live longer.
I adore tea. I have multiple cups of green tea a day. It has less caffeine than coffee (not about them jitters) and is easier on your stomach. Green tea in particular offers a ton of health benefits. It decreases inflammation, prevents cancer, and protects your skin. Green tea is also good for your brain, learning, and memory. Drinking three to five cups per day is optimal to reap the most health benefits, so drink up! Personally, I love to drink loose-leaf tea, so I use a bottle that can infuse loose leaf tea or a kettle if I'm staying in.
Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It’s loaded with antioxidants and provides many benefits for your health, including:
Improved brain function
Improved fat loss
Protecting against cancer
Lowering the risk of heart disease
Preventing cell damage
Reducing free radicals (helping to reverse aging)
EGCG is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea; it can treat disease and provide medicinal properties. It can help with:
Depression: theanine in tea provides a relaxing and tranquilizing effect
Weight loss: increases metabolism and levels of fat oxidation
Skincare: anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties reduce wrinkles and signs of sun damage and aging
Antiviral and antibacterial: catechins in tea have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, making tea effective for treating everything from the flu to cancer
Alzheimer’s: can delay deterioration, protect brain cells, and restore damaged brain cells
Cholesterol: reduces bad cholesterol and improves the ratio of good to bad
Blood Pressure: reduces the risk of high blood pressure
Diabetes: helps regulate glucose, preventing high insulin spikes and fat storage
To be honest with you, coffee and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. It is delicious and warm and fills me up with joy and pleasure and energy, and it also sometimes makes me jittery and anxious and restless. So, I drink my coffee, but I typically have no more than a cup a day. I start my day with a glass of water, then I have a mug or two of green tea, and then if I could use an extra boost, I’ll have a small mug of coffee. Coffee has a ton of benefits for you and is very healthy as long as you don't use too much cream and sugar. I personally love to just use a splash of almond or other non-dairy milk to make it a bit creamier.
I am loving iced coffee right now because it’s super hot outside, I can make it at home for cheap and not have to make more every day, and I can make it strong how I like it. If I’m only going to have one cup, it’s going to be a tasty one. I’ve found my absolute favorite iced coffee (it's called Bizzy Cold Brew), and I just use this cheap coffee maker. The finished coffee keeps in the fridge for a week or two (if I make it that long without drinking it all), and it creates a nice concentrate that is strong and goes a long way. If you want something quick and easy, I highly recommend High Brew Cold Brew; it's dairy and sugar-free, easy to grab on your way out the door, and totally delicious.
Benefits of Coffee
Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, coffee is quite healthy. Your daily cup helps you feel happier and more energized, it burns fat, and it improves physical performance. It may also lower your risk of cancer and several other illnesses.
Improves energy levels and makes you smarter
Improves physical performance
Fights depression and makes you happier
Contains essential nutrients (vitamin B2, manganese, potassium, vitamin B3)
May lower risk of cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, and Dementia
Helps you live longer
A huge source of antioxidants
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