Since we all need to drink plenty of water anyway-and even more so as the weather heats up-why not give your H2O a little extra nutrition (and flavor!) with these fat-blasting additions?
According to Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, a family medicine and integrative medicine physician, adding these foods to your water can actually help boost your metabolism as you sip.
Citrus fruits: Dr. Agarwal-who suggests lemons or oranges-says that citrus fruits are fabulous sources of vitamin C. "On a cellular level, in order for the body to mobilize fat stores and use them as energy, vitamin C is required in this reaction as a cofactor," she says. "Adding vitamin C to your diet is a great way to boost energy and fat burning. The best way to add this is in slices to your water. This way, the fruit slowly flavors your water, and when you are done, consuming the fruit is a great source of fiber-another natural fat burner."
Cucumber: Fancy spas add cucumber slices to their water glasses for a reason! Dr. Agarwal says the veggie is actually helpful in fat burning and toxin elimination because of its natural diuretic properties. "It contains vitamins A and E, which are important antioxidants and help reduce feelings of bloating and water retention," she says. "You can even eat the slices after you drink the water, which adds fiber to your diet and counts as a healthy snack under 10 calories."
Raspberries: Dr. Agarwal says that raspberries are packed with antioxidants and contain magnesium and B vitamins-important nutrients for energy and kick-starting your metabolism. "My personal favorite water recipe is adding raspberries, lemon, cucumber, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper," she says.
Cayenne pepper: Speaking of cayenne pepper..."It's known to boost your metabolism by generating heat, and contains a compound called capsaicin that can help promote fat burning. If you don't love the taste, a small drop of stevia can help sweeten the cup," she says.
Blueberries: Attention, soda addicts: Adding these little berries to super-cold sparkling water (along with some lemon) can help you quit the cola. "The combination helps you get the same sensation after drinking a soda, without the extra artificial additives and sugar," she says. "Blueberries not only contain antioxidants but are rich in potassium, which helps you recuperate your muscles quickly after a workout, and they are naturally sweet."
Dr. Agarwal says that adding slices of fruit is usually the easiest and best ways to reap all the health benefits. "Adding juice is OK, but this can sometimes require more of the fruit to get the flavor you are looking for," she says. "With sliced fruit, you can continue to add water and the flavor remains. Once you drink water that had added juice, it's hard to re-create it without squeezing more in each time."