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How Can Hot Drinks Help You Stay Healthy This Winter?

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Drinking hot beverages during the winter is a great way to beat the chill, but did you know it could also help to keep you healthy? Of course not every hot drink will bestow health benefits upon you, but a number of your favorite drinks could help you fight off a seasonal cold. The next time you head to your kitchen to brew up something warm and comforting, consider the following ideas about warm beverages.

The Benefits of Hot Water
First, let's start with the basics. Drinking plenty of water each day is a great way to maintain your health. It keeps you hydrated and aids in nearly every function of your body. The amount of water you need to drink each day depends on your body type and level of activity, as well as environmental factors. During the winter, it's easier for your skin to dry out, for instance. Eight glasses of water per day is probably a figure you've heard before, but it's more of a guideline than a hard rule. Athletes will need much more water to stay hydrated than office workers. A large man will need more water than a petite woman. If you're concerned about the amount of water you should consume each day, consult your health care professional. But who says it needs to be cold water?

Drinking hot water may help you maintain a healthy metabolism, which is great if you're attempting to shed a few pounds. Additionally, hot water can help to ease painful menstrual cramps by soothing the abdominal muscles. Other benefits include providing relief for nasal congestion and aiding with digestion. To get some of these benefits, trying placing a few slices of lemon in your Mr. Coffee® Hot Tea Maker and using the lowest setting - the same as you would use for green tea.

Hot water with lemon and ginger is a great way to help your immune system.Hot water with lemon and ginger is a great way to help your immune system.

How to Boost Your Hot Drink Game
Aside from the addition of lemon, there a few other things you can add to your hot water for extra health benefits. Fresh ginger is very beneficial, especially if you have a scratchy throat. Simply add about four tablespoons of thinly sliced ginger to your hot water and allow it to steep for two minutes. Many people enjoy the flavor on its own, but if you're used to something sweeter, add a few drops of honey.

You can also add some turmeric and ground cloves to warm milk - or a milk substitute - for an extra kick of immune boosting potential. The Mr. Coffee® Milk Frother is perfect for this. Simply stir together 1/2 cup of milk, or milk substitute, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and a dash of vanilla extract and select the warm milk option. The result is a short, creamy drink that will give your immune system a helping hand.

Cocoa and coffee have a number of potential health benefits.Cocoa and coffee have a number of potential health benefits.

Coffee and Cocoa
Thankfully, you won't have to give up the delicious flavors of coffee or chocolate in your pursuit of health.Coffee has several recognized health benefits, such as aiding in the prevention of liver disease.Check out this article for more information about the health benefits of tea and coffee.

Cocoa has a high amount of antioxidants, which also have a number of benefits such as reducing the signs of skin aging. As long as you can avoid sugary chocolate drinks, you canenjoy the robust taste of cocoa without feeling guilty. For a sugar-free hot chocolate recipe, click here. For a super tasty mocha recipe, click here. As a healthier alternative, simply replace the sugar with stevia or another sweetener and substitute in soy milk.