I’m officially into week three of being sugar-free and I feel like I need to bust out this little number.
Week one of this challenge I hardly had the energy to get up and dance to this little number, and that’s saying something because anyone who knows me knows I love to “get jiggy with it” when a good tune comes on! Now I’m struggling to contain myself from having this on repeat and busting a move while typing up this week’s sugar-free dedicated post.
I thought I would relate my sugar-free entry today to something that is crucial now that the weather is getting warmer and many people’s lifestyles are more active since summer tends to get people moving. Riding bikes, swimming, taking hikes, and even simply sitting outside on a warm day can leave you feeling parched and reaching for the first thing to quench your thirst.Unfortunately, at times the thing we’re reaching for may not be the best thing to help refuel our bodies and replenish lost electrolytes.
Why is it important to keep our bodies hydrate and replenish electrolytes?
When we sweat, whether it’s exercise induced or from being in a warm environment, our perspiration is composed of water, sodium, chloride, and potassium. It’s important for our bodies to sweat because this is how our body maintains a comfortable temperature and cools us down when our body gets too warm. Therefore, it’s important to replenish these lost nutrients and water to keep our bodies healthy and able to function.
The obvious answer: water. But what if you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of water and needs something to make it more satisfying? This is where sugar-free drinks can be a big no-no as they contain artificial sweeteners and chemicals that can do more bad than good for your health.
Say no to artificial sweeteners and sugar-free drinks
-While you may be saving calories, some artificial sweeteners actually increase your appetite leaving you feeling as if you need to consume more calories to feel satisfied. Some of these can even raise your blood sugar more than natural sugars.
– Avoid natural fruit juices as well. Sure, they may seem like a great way to get your nutrients and drink something tasty and healthy. But because you aren’t taking in the fiber from the fruit when the juice is squeezed, your body absorbs the fructose and increases your sugar levels.
-Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (found in Splenda), aspartame (found in Equal, NatraSweet, and other sweeteners), and other sugar substitutes can have negative side effects such as hallucinations, damage to the liver, dental erosion, headaches, brain tumors, and several other serious health concerns.
Source: Driveway Divas
What to add to your water instead
If you do feel the need to add something to your water to help stay hydrated this summer, make your own flavored waters. This way you control what goes in it and you can even get creative!
-Try adding cucumbers for a fresh taste, a natural detox, and as a great way to sooth the skin.
-Citruses such as sliced lemons and oranges can help clear your skin, boost immune system, energize, and the taste leaves you feeling cleansed.
-Adding mint is refreshing and can soothe an upset stomach. Ginger can help with digestion as well and pairs nicely with cucumber, lemon, and honey.
-Coconut water has more potassium than sports drinks and is a great way to replenish lost electrolytes. Drink in moderation as the calories in these can add up quickly and be sure to get the kind that has no sugar added.
-If you want something sweet, reach for natural sweeteners such as honey, date sugar, stevia, and brown rice syrup. Still remember to use these in moderation and keep in min, a little goes a long way.
Show your body some love H2O
You can also make this with regular water (I put it in my water bottle that I carry around all day and just refilled it). The nice thing about this water is not only does it taste good and is refreshing, but it reaps of many health benefits including
-boosting your metabolism
-helping your digestive system
-brightening your skin
Plus, it can help reduce those sugar cravings! Give it a try and play around with other ingredients as well. For all you still in the sugar-free challenge, keep it up! By now, hopefully you’re finding your cravings are diminishing and your body is feeling cleansed and energized!