Basic Beverage Choices

Eric Bakker N.D.May 17, 2022

You may be familiar with the phrase "beverage," but do you know what it means exactly? A beverage or drink is a type of liquid that is consumed for nutrition, energy, or hydration. With more variety of flavours and tastes, the number of beverage types has grown over time. But what are the best beverages for health? I think you'll probably know the answer to that question! Hint: It's not beer or coffee.

Eric Bakker Naturopath » Recipes » Basic Beverage Choices

Reduce Coffee and Tea & Drink more Water   

In my experience, most people presenting with chronic complaints simply don’t drink enough water. Many drink coffee and tea daily, but not enough water. Caffeinated drinks are not the same as drinking good clean water. You may well know that your body has a high water content, in fact water makes up up more than 70 percent of your body’s tissues and plays a role in nearly every bodily function, from regulating temperature, assisting circulation, aiding digestion and cushioning your joints to bringing oxygen to your cells and removing waste from your body. As you can see, it is common sense to drink water, and quite regularly. You will find that you will almost certainly drink water more in the summer and less in winter, more after exertion and less if you are sedentary. Coffee and tea are drunk all year round, and my recommendations are for you to drink one cup less of coffee and tea and replace it with a glass of water to begin with, it’s easy to do and is a good step in your quest to reducing your caffeine intake.

Here are some quick links that will take you to different pages of interest:

Here are a few good hints and tips on drinking water and less coffee and tea. You can read more about caffeine and its effects of health in my articles Caffeine and Do You Like Drinking Tea, and why green tea is a better option, this article will give you some good options if you decide to clean up the caffeine in your body, a caffeine detox.

  • Drink sufficient water Drinking enough water is one of the most simple, basic, and important health steps you can take. But, I really don’t believe in the “eight glasses per day” that we are supposed to abide by. Drink when you get up, before, during or after meals and when you are thirsty. If you consume plenty of vegetables and fruit you will be consuming water as well.
  • The colour of your urine can be an indication of your hydration. If your urine is dark and smells strongly, you are most probably dehydrated. Drink sufficient water and teas to make your urine clear or a very pale yellow. If you are taking a B Vitamin or a B complex containing Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) then your urine will most probably be a green colour, ranging from a bright yellow to a dark yellow (or even a brown) colour. There is no need for concern as this is a perfectly normal reaction. further refined my recommendations to use the colour your urine as a guide to how much water you should be drinking. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, blurry vision, dry skin, constipation and more health complaints.
  • Do you drink lots in the morning and little during the day?A question many ask me is how much do I drink and when should I drink water? Some say “I’ve been told not to have water during meals, or after meals as it impairs digestion” I say its nonsense, water does not “dilute” the stomach acid. If you feel like drinking then drink, your body will soon tell you what’s right for you and what isn’t.  In my opinion, it is better to have small amounts regularly throughout the day than to guzzle it all down in one sitting. Depending on your size, your body can realistically only process a bit more than a glass of water per hour. If you drink much more than this at one sitting, the extra water will not be used – it will necessitate another annoying trip to the toilet. If you go too often, reduce how much and how frequent you go. And, do keep a bottle (preferably glass or stainless steel) handy so if you do get thirsty you have water with you.
  • Drink pure water. Water is water you say? Don’t be fooled, there could be anything lurking in your water. I recommend that you drink filtered water.
  • Avoid chlorinated and fluoridated water. Healthy water is  water that has been properly treated to avoid contamination. Nearly all water supplies have chlorine and fluoride (a highly controversial and potentially toxic bone poison that should be avoided) added during water treatment, both of which are detrimental to your health. The EU has long know that fluoride is toxic and have long since removed it from their water supplies.
  • Filtered water is always better than just tap water. You may not be aware of this, but what do you think happens to all those pharmaceutical drugs that are swallowed each and every day by thousands of people? That’s right, they end up in the toilet bowl. And this means that thousands of tons of pharmaceutical drugs are flushed down the toilet every year  and may wind up in your water supply as most filtration plants haven’t designed to remove them. Even crustaceans like prawns have desert spoon contain levels of the antidepressant called Prozac.

There Are Several Ways To Obtain Healthy Water In Your Home

  • Don’t drink distilled water I have never been a fan of drinking water used in laboratories, in car radiators and irons. Why? because distilled water is dead FLAT – it is devoid of all oxygen and minerals. It has the wrong pH, the incorrect ionisation as well as oxidation potential. House plants watered only with distilled water typically go sick and die with a few months, and those watered with microwaved water last even less – succumbing within a week at times.
  • Filter your water! The main type of water filter that I recommend:  Reverse osmosis: This type of system removes most impurities and is suggested for those serious about their health.
  • Avoid bottled water. This kind of water is usually acceptable, but it’s very expensive for what it really is and also those plastic bottles negatively impacts on our environment. Research in America has also revealed that up to one third of brands of bottled water are contaminated with various heavy metals and even fluoride.
Health Tip – Have The Juice Of One Lemon Each Day In Water

lemonI often recommend that patient’s start the day with a glass of water containing either lemon juice or a desert-spoon of Apple Cider Vinegar each morning. You can add either lemon juice or the apple cider vinegar to your water to help normalise your body’s pH if you’re too acidic. Your digestion will improve and so will your overall health over time. Many people have come back to me years later commenting on how a simple thing like adding lemon and cider vinegar to their diet improved their health significantly. It’s the little things you do daily which determine your health in the long run.

  • Monitor all other fluids.  My recommendations are to consume only small amounts of coffee and tea daily. If you struggle with insomnia or anxiety, please avoid all caffeine. Green tea is a better option, and in this article I explain why.
  • Alcohol: Beer, wine, and distilled spirits are allowed in moderation. I am not a big fan of alcohol consumption when it comes to health, I do enjoy a glass of wine though on occasion and believe that there is nothing wrong with mild alcohol consumption. remember though, each gram of alcohol is equal to seven calories, so you will gain weight if you drink too much! You may like to read Do you Think when you Drink, it has proven to be a very popular article.
  • Juices: Fruit juices often contain added sugar. I would rather that you use the Vita-Mix and make up your own whole foods juices than purchase those sugary drinks.
  • Avoid all soft drinks! I tell our patients to avoid drinking soft drinks at all costs. These “beverages” add no value to your health and wreck you digestion over time. They contain phosphoric acid and either too much sucrose or those artificial sugars.  Both regular and diet sodas are potent contributors to a number of health challenges and should be avoided at all costs by those with heart disease, cancer and diabetes. For every can of a carbonated you drink per day, your risk of obesity increases by a huge 60 percent. This is one of the easiest changes you can make that can significantly improve your health, just say “NO” to these drinks and drink teas or real fruit juices each day.

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