If you’re deeply committed to improving your physical well-being, you probably find yourself drinking a lot of water. This most basic of supplements is essential for hydrating yourself before, during and after a workout, and can also be consumed as part of a weight-control regime as it helps to suppress appetite so you can make better decisions about what and when to eat.
But water isn’t much fun, and next to that flavoured energy drink it may feel like you’re not getting much value for money – even if water is essentially free. This is because although water is good for our skin and our cognition in addition to the previously stated advantages, it doesn’t contain much fancy stuff, including the calories that we need to energize ourselves.
Pimping up your water, therefore, is a great way to be in control of what you drink, adding nutritional value and flavour to the clear stuff without nonsense chemicals and preservatives that are found in some other workout drinks.
The power of… basil?
One such infusion that can prepare you well for a workout when you’re just not feeling it, is a reviving Mandarin, Basil & Black Tea Water Infusion.
Adding four torn leaves of basil to this one packs a double punch: on the one hand, basil is super-effective as a natural anti-inflammatory food to help you recover from some serious exercise.
Secondly, its packed with magnesium, which can prompt your muscles and blood vessels to relax and so improve blood flow, keeping your heart in check as you put your system to the test.
Mandarin will sweeten this particular infusion without adding unnecessary fat. Squeeze two of them into a litre of your infusion to get the flavour and the health benefits.
And here’s the best thing about working out with mandarins: they lower levels of insulin, helping you to burn stored fats rather than storing sugar. They also help you to feel full, so if you missed it before you workout, be sure to get a glass of this stuff inside you half an hour before your mealtime.
Time for tea
The black tea at the heart of this drink is another sneaky energy tip. It boosts circulation to your brain, without overworking the heart, and will also stimulate your respiratory system and metabolism. Drinking it chilled with basil and mandarin makes for a fine alternative to coffee or to your usual bottle of Evian.
The Mandarin, Basil & Black Tea Water Infusion is just one way to keep your water intake up while also getting some extra vits into your system. For more such solutions, check out Budget Direct’s new infographic, with recipes for a dozen spruced-up water drinks to get you all the hydration with none of the nonsense.