Want to feel less tired AND less grumpy? Drink up!

Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status and studies show that even mild dehydration can impair many aspects of brain function including irritability, tiredness and decision making

Whilst the wonders of water are familiar to us all, drinking water ALL the time can get a little (shhh) boring. So here are some other ideas to try to keep your brain and body hydrated.

(Fresh juice doesn’t have to be green or full of spinach to be healthy).

Beetroot juice

Jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals – including vitamin B9, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C – as well as several potent antioxidants and plant compounds, this

is great when combined with apple, carrot and ginger.

Black coffee

The health benefits of black coffee have been widely documented, due to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, including vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.

Coconut water

Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, meaning it is a great way to rehydrate.

Cranberry juice

Unsweetened this juice is full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and copper, as well as various phytonutrients that give cranberries their anti-inflammatory properties.

It can also support good urinary tract health. There is growing evidence that the phytochemicals contained in cranberries play an important role in digestive health.

Green tea

Regarded as one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, green tea has been linked to all manner of benefits, from boosting brain function – thanks to its high caffeine and L-theanine content – to reducing blood sugar levels. Here are 10 evidence based health benefits of green tea.

Hot chocolate

Made with 100 per cent cocoa or cacao powder and mixed with warm milk ( rather than one of the sugar laden, instant  versions ) hot chocolate will provide antioxidants known as polyphenols, which could help to support a healthy heart. Cocoa is one of the richest sources of polyphenols – especially flavanols, which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Want to read more about the benefits of chocolate ( who doesn’t ?!) catch up with the science here.

Hot Water + Lemon

This is a great morning tonic which I sometimes have with Manuka honey and apple cider vinegar. 

When making lemon water, always use fresh lemons rather than artificial lemon from a bottle.

To make lemon water, squeeze half a lemon into mug of warm water. 

One way to infuse more flavour or add a health boost to your lemon water is by adding

  • a teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey
  • a few springs of mint
  • a slice of fresh ginger
  • a dash of matcha poweder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of turmeric

Infused water

Why not try infusing filtered water with fruits, veggies, or fresh herbs? You could even use sparkling water if you prefer the fizz.

Mint and cucumber, orange and lemon are two refreshing combinations. Read more here: 7 Benefits of Cucumber Water.

Kombucha

Kombucha is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, and then leaving it to ferment for a week or sometimes longer.

It contains the same bioactive compounds found in tea – such as polyphenols – with the added benefit of gut-healthy probiotics. 

It’s also high in acetic acid, which has strong antibacterial properties.

Peppermint Tea

This herbal tea contains several key essential oils including menthol, menthone and limonene – as well as micronutrients and plant compounds.

These support heart health, calm the nervous system, and help to relieve gas, bloating and indigestion.

Naturally caffeine and calorie free, peppermint tea may also help to soothe the digestive system.

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice contains far higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices.  Pomegranate juice contains more than 100 phytochemicals. 

Pomegranate fruit has been used for thousands of years as medicine. As with all fruit juices, sugar content can be pretty high so keep any fresh fruit juice to a small glass a day and enjoy the fruit as a whole if you fancy drinking more.

Tomato juice

Highly nutritious – in fact, just one 250ml cup of tomato juice nearly covers your daily needs for vitamin C, and more than one fifth of your vitamin A requirements. 

It’s also high in lycopene, another powerful antioxidant known for fighting inflammation.

Keep well, Dr Clara Russell