No matter your age, staying hydrated is important. In the cold months, water may not sound as appealing as warm hydration drinks. Luckily, there are drinks lighter than sugary hot chocolate to choose from.
Keep reading for warm hydrating drinks, including healthy warm drinks that are both nutritious and nutritious.
3 Benefits of Warm Hydrating Drinks for Seniors
You probably already know that drinking several glasses of water a day has health benefits. What about other forms of hydration, like fruit juice, sports drinks, or warm beverages? Drinks with water or milk as the main base can be a great addition to your diet.
Hot drinks can help you stay hydrated without all the sugar and calories. With low levels of added sugar or salt, warm beverages can contribute to your fluid needs, too. Hot drinks can help keep you healthy through three main benefits:
1. Elevated Hydration
The advice of “8 glasses of water per day” is really just a starting point when it comes to staying hydrated. Fluid needs can vary from one senior to another, so it is important to understand your own body’s needs (a dietitian can help).
If you’re prone to dehydration, adding warm drinks to your routine can help break up the monotony of basic beverages while helping you meet your nutrient needs.
The water flow of the body mimics the movement of electrolytes, which are minerals that interact with water. In the body, electrolyte concentration influences where the water goes.
Maintaining adequate fluid balance in the body, composed especially of sources replete with electrolytes, can help sustain health in older adults.
3. Easy Digestion
Since your digestive tract is essentially an elongated muscle, hot drinks are thought to relax and relieve it. Drinking warm beverages may relieve constipation, cold or flu symptoms, and even more.
8 Healthy Warm Drinks to Try
Is plain water not quite your cup of tea? These hot beverages are what you’ve been looking for to keep you cozy until the weather gets warmer.
1. Hand-Crafted Coffee
Instead of heading to your local coffee shop, stir up your own concoctions at home. Coffee is linked to improved cognition in the elderly, making it a perfect start to your morning (without even leaving the house).
Homemade coffee allows you to customize ingredients and pick sweeteners that make sense to your lifestyle.
2. Beetroot Latte
The vibrant pink color of a beetroot latte is enough to brighten any day. This caffeine-free concoction gets its unusual hue thanks to beet juice or powder, which is linked to supporting nitric oxide production.
Nitric oxide is a chemical that affects each cell in the body and is especially involved in hormone regulation and blood flow. In other words, this drink may help to heal you from the inside out. Plus, you can froth almond milk to add a fun design on top!
3. Tasty Teas
Experts agree that tea ranks among the top drinks for health. Popular favorites include:
- Black tea
- Chai tea latte
- Ginger tea
- Herbal teas
- Matcha teas and lattes
Keep in mind that some teas contain more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Caffeine affects each person differently, so be sure to select a tea that is right for you and your lifestyle.
If you’re wary of added sugars and syrups from coffee shops, you can create your own tea by keeping a tea bag collection at home.
4. Golden Milk (Turmeric Tea)
Golden milk (sometimes called a golden latte), technically another type of tea, has become popular lately. Turmeric tea gets its golden glow from a functional food component called curcumin.
The spice turmeric has been used anciently to reduce inflammation, and modern medical science is backing these benefits up.
5. Coconut Water
Coconut water is typically enjoyed as a cool, refreshing drink from a tropical climate. However, coconut water can also be consumed warm!
Just as you would enjoy warm water with lemon, you can drink coconut water at a hotter temperature. Alternatively, add it as an ingredient in other warm beverage recipes (i.e. coffee, tea, hot chocolate).
6. Protein Hot Chocolate Or Coffee
If you sip your hot drinks starting in the morning, be sure to pack in the protein where you can. Adding protein powder as the cocoa base of your cup can be both delicious and nutritious.
Be sure to choose a sweetener in your protein hot chocolate that fits your lifestyle, and use unsweetened ingredients whenever possible. Keep in mind that you can also use many of these same methods for protein coffee (often called “proffee”).
7. Maple Hot Milk
Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than other refined sweeteners. While it is still considered a sugar, maple syrup has a marginal amount of nutrients naturally and is thought to be a slightly better sweetener.
Many seniors get too much sugar, but struggle to get other important vitamins and minerals (like calcium). Maple hot milk is a naturally sweetened drink that can help older adults meet their nutrient requirements in a tasty way.
8. Cinnamon Vanilla Steamer
While many of these drinks are simple to whip up, a cinnamon vanilla steamer may be the most simple. Just pick your favorite milk of choice and heat it slowly in a small saucepan with ½ teaspoon each of vanilla extract and cinnamon.
To imitate the Starbucks Vanilla Steamer favorite, enhance with a couple drops of almond extract and sweeten with honey. This drink is naturally caffeine-free, making it great to share with grandkids, too.
The Last Word On Warm Hydration Drinks for Seniors
Healthy hot drinks can be a great way to work towards your daily fluid needs. Even in colder months, seniors need to sip enough hydrating liquid throughout the day for optimal body functioning. Luckily, there are options beyond a bland cup of coffee to heat up your hydration routine.
Why should seniors consume warm hydrating drinks?
Warm drinks can not only hydrate, but deliver electrolytes and other nutrients in an easily digestible form. For example, try adding functional ingredients like beetroot powder or turmeric to your latte today.
What are some quick healthy warm drink ideas?
Some easy switches for creating healthy hot beverages include:
- Trading sugar-laden cocoa powders for protein powder
- Trying at-home recipes in place of a daily Starbucks run
- Using unsweetened milk or hot coconut water as a base
Additionally, you can leave off the whipped topping. A single tablespoon of whipped topping adds about 50 calories, which can add up quickly.
Cleveland Clinic. Drink Up: Dehydration is an Often Overlooked Health Risk for Seniors. Health.clevandclinic.org. Published November 2018.
Czerwony B. Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Hot Water? Health.clevelandclinic.org. Published June 2021.
Gordon B, Klemm S. How Much Water Do You Need? Eatright.org. Published 2022.
Thalheimer JC. Maple Syrup. Todaysdietitian.com. Published July 2018.
Wright KC. Electrolytes’ Role in Optimal Hydration. Todaysdietitian.com. Published April 2021.