We can all stand to drink more water. Besides making up 60 percent of our bodies, it’s vital for most daily processes, including the distribution of nutrients to muscles after a hard workout at the fitness center. Obviously, drinking water hydrates us, but did you know it can also boost your metabolism?
Detox diets take advantage of water’s toxin-flushing abilities, but it can do more for your waistline than that. How? By adding key natural ingredients. Unlike commercial vitamin waters that have large amounts of added sugars and artificial additives, these are ingredients you can put in your fitness gym water bottle that will actually help burn calories instead of adding them.
Not only will these foods boost your metabolism; they’ll add some flavor to your boring water and replenish electrolytes lost from sweat. Whatever your taste preferences, there’s something in this list for everyone.
1. Citrus Fruit
Lemon is well-known as one of the key detoxifying substances used in cleanses, but other members of the citrus family like lime and orange also have carnitine – a substance that helps cells transport and use fatty acids. Their high Vitamin C levels also boost energy and immunity, two things that will keep you going strong through even the toughest workout regimen.
2. Veggies and Herbs –Cucumber, Parsley, Oregano, Mint
The thought of putting vegetables or herb leaves into your water might not appeal to you, but consider these advantages of cucumber, parsley, oregano and peppermint. Cucumbers add a light, refreshing taste to water and, as a diuretic, flushes out toxins with the best of them. It also contains potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Parsley contains Vitamin C, K and iron – necessary to keeping you active and energetic. Oregano contains a substance known as carvacrol, which has been shown to regulate the body’s blood sugar levels, influence genes linked to obesity, and reduce body fat. Peppermint is a more pleasing herb that acts as an appetite suppressant, reduces bloating, and relaxes the body –which means less stress-induced binging.
3. Spice it Up: Cayenne, Turmeric, Ginger and Cinnamon
Digging into your spice cupboard also has metabolic benefits. These four spices are known to increase thermogenesis (the process your body uses to burn fat and keep you warm), suppress the appetite, regulate carbohydrates for energy use instead of storage, balance hormones that affect weight and appetite, and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone linked to abdominal fat). If you can’t stomach the spice, add strawberries or blueberries to offset it with sweetness.
4. Honey and green tea
Last of all, we have honey and green tea. Honey might be a surprise, since it does contain calories and is generally thought of as a sweetener. The difference between honey and other sugars is that you’re also getting nutrients, not just flavor. Among its many health benefits, honey is believed to help mobilize stored body fat.
Green tea is lauded for antioxidants, specifically EGCG, which inhibits the hormones that slow metabolism. It’s also a healthy source of caffeine for a little extra kick of energy when you need it (minus the crash of sugar-laden energy drinks).
If you’re looking for something interesting to make your workout water a littler tastier, try one of these natural ingredients and get the double benefit of a metabolism boost. Hard work and eating right is most important to reaching your fitness goals, but every little bit helps.