I’m astounded by the number of beverage options at my local Whole Foods store. They stock everything from gingerade kombucha to asparagus water to hemp milk. It’s not just Whole Foods though. Have you walked into a convenience store lately? You might have been hit in the forehead with 25 varieties of fountain soda and cups big enough to hold 64 ounces.
Am I the only one that thinks we’ve gone absolutely over the top with endless varieties of beverage options? When was the last time someone just had a drink of water if they were thirsty? Oh, not good enough? You need a beet, carrot and ginger juice? Or a cold brewed artisan coffee to slake your thirst? Certainly you can’t be expected to go a day without coconut water.
No, no, and no. Let’s talk about why smart people drink just water, and why you need to just walk right by that ostentatious display of liquid refreshment without a single second thought:
- No fat, no calories – the best part about water is…it’s water. It doesn’t have a list of ingredients and therefore doesn’t have fat, calories, protein, or anything. It’s just plain old water. Yet, the beauty is in it’s very plainness. It has no added ingredients. You don’t need to even bother reading the label. And if you’re doing it right and filtering your water at home and using a re-usable container like my Klean Kanteen, there wouldn’t be a label anyway. You can even decorate your container with stickers like I did.
- Less expensive – you can drink filtered water at home for next to nothing. Or you can blow anywhere from $1.50 to $15 buying stupid bottled water and outrageously expensive craft brews that taste like pine needles and smell like shoe polish Most people work hard for their money and must tolerate long commutes, time away from their families and a spot in the herd of the cube farm. Does it make sense to prolong time spent in the workforce by spending your hard-earned cash on ridiculously expensive drinks? No, it does not. Is that daily Kombucha habit you’ve cultivated going to drown the sadness you should feel knowing you’re not maxing out your 401k contribution? Doubt it.
- Minimalism – I’m a huge fan of keeping things simple. You may have heard President Obama only wears gray or blue suits, as he revealed in a Fast Company interview. This isn’t because he prefers only those colors, but because it pares down his decision-making. He only has 2 choices. Less decisions. Less time spent making decisions is the impetus. Imagine only having one beverage choice. Water or water. How easy it would be. No adding beverages to your grocery list. No need to decide what to order at dinner or lunch. No paying for or transporting cases of beverages from the store to home. Nope, you just fill up your container from your Brita water pitcher purchased for less that $21 on Amazon and you’re done. Boom. No decision necessary. No extra packaging to throw away. No worry about whether what you’re drinking is pure or filtered. Of course it is silly, you filtered it yourself.
- Hydration – let’s get down to the nitty gritty of beverage consumption. It’s not for entertainment (hello, beer and wine), it’s not for fun, or because you’re bored or feel compelled to always have a beverage in hand. Beverage consumption, down to it’s basics, is about hydration. That’s right. Your body requires water. After all, water is our #1 nutrient. Not only does water lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, but it also plays a key role in your mood. The best possible way to get hydrated is not by drinking ridiculously over-marketed, sugar-filled and artificially-colored drinks like Gatorade or Powerade, but by drinking water. Quick question…what’s more hydrating than water? Nothing. Water is hydrating. Water is all your body needs and nothing it doesn’t. Water is life.
Here comes the vegan agenda…Keep in mind that it’s great to obtain water and thus hydration from drinking water, but that’s not the only, or even the best way. Water also comes from your diet. Ha! Since you’re reading a vegan blog, did you really think I’d go for a single post without recommending you eat more plants? Of course not.
If you have a crappy diet of high calorie, heavily processed, dense foods you’re probably dehydrated. If you have a clean diet full of fruits and vegetables and no processed foods, you very likely have better hydration levels. The more high water content foods like watermelon, oranges and celery that you eat, the more hydrated you’ll be and the less water you’ll need. The more salty, sugary and fat-laden foods you eat, the more water you’ll need to drink just to help your body digest that which you’ve thrown at it.
Sure, water isn’t glamorous. It doesn’t come in 27 different flavors and colors. It doesn’t fizz or have any celebrity or famous athlete endorsements. Or even an iconic Got Milk? slogan.
But wait. Isn’t it all the better that water doesn’t have any of that? Water doesn’t need million dollar advertising slogans. It doesn’t need variety or fizz. Water sells itself. It’s the beverage of choice for everyone, from hardcore endurance athletes to hung over college students. Water is the bomb. Water is the new black.
Now go drink some water! Oh, and eat your fruit and veggies!