A.M. BOOST: Jumpstart your morning with these daily drinks

Grab an immune-boosting beverage first thing in the morning and start your day off right. Your coffee fix can wait.

 

At Ascend, we’re always striving to increase our vitality, both in and out of the studio. Each day, we have the opportunity to engage in healthy habits that feed this process—and building these rituals into a morning routine is something we encourage. When we choose to eat and drink nourishing foods, we are supplying our body with what it needs for peak performance. A daily detox drink is a great way to show your body some love and flush it with support first thing upon waking.

More important than following cleanses or detox diets that tout the benefits of eliminating toxins from your body (though catchy) is to develop daily habits that support our body’s natural detoxification processes. Our bodies know what to do, and do a pretty damn good job at removing toxins and keeping us in balance. But even the healthiest of folks have many internal and external stressors that can upset the digestive system and weaken the immune system. With the cold and flu season approaching, it might be time to tweak your beverage line up and give your immune system an extra boost.

 

Rise and Thrive Tonics

Support your digestive system with these immune-boosting drinks:

Lemon water: Sipping water with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice is a simple health habit that can easily be added to your morning regimen. In general, drinking a tall glass of water is a wonderful way to rehydrate after a night of sleep when we lose moisture from respiration and basically fast by not eating or drinking for a stretch of time. Now, add the benefits of lovely lemons. Accessible and affordable, lemons are cleansing, a great source of vitamin C, and act as a digestive aid. Plus, they taste incredibly refreshing. Warm lemon water is especially helpful in supporting your digestion (i.e. moving things along).

Apple cider vinegar: When you’re looking for more than lemon water, amp up the benefits of your morning tonic by adding apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can help balance the body’s pH since it acts as an alkalizing agent, and can improve gut health (due to malic acid). It also helps balance blood sugar and curb cravings. Consuming apple cider vinegar can help increase the absorption of nutrients from food. Like lemons, this ingredient can be used in salad dressings, sauces, or sprinkled directly on food. For a morning beverage, add 1-2 tablespoons to a glass of cool or warm water (we’d advise against drinking this stuff straight up). Throw in some lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper to give your metabolism an extra kick.

Ginger & turmeric shot: This shot is guaranteed to perk you right up in the morning. The combination of ginger and turmeric packs a powerful anti-inflammatory punch. Ginger is rich in antioxidants, acts as a digestive aid, and is beneficial for healthy gut bacteria. In addition to combating inflammation, turmeric can boost metabolism, help stave off cancer, and improve oxygen transport throughout the body. It may also give your skin an added glow. Ginger and turmeric can be juiced alone, or you can stir in a little sweetener (such as honey or maple syrup). If you find sipping a shot of ginger and turmeric to be a bit aggressive, you can steep turmeric root and ginger in hot water or tea, strain, and add some lemon.

Chlorophyll H20: Chlorophyll is a pigment found in green plants and algae that is responsible for photosynthesis—the process of absorbing light from the sun and converting it into energy used for food (aren’t plants amazing?). Chlorophyll has strong antioxidant and anticancer properties. It helps the body fight oxidation and can interfere with the way carcinogens are absorbed in the GI tract. It can also improve liver detoxification (it binds to and removes heavy metals and alcohol), helps with gastrointestinal problems, builds red blood cells, and is a natural deodorizer. While you consume chlorophyll when you eat plants with a green hue, adding extra chlorophyll to your routine is ideal for when you may not be getting enough greens in your diet.

Liquid chlorophyll drops are sold in health food stores and are made with chlorophyllins, a semi-synthetic form of chlorophyll that is shelf-stable and water-soluble. The liquid drops have a more mild taste compared with chlorophyll powder or chewable tablets. The liquid drops also come in mint flavor (a favorite). Try sprinkling a few drops in your morning lemon water.

 

Bonus beverages

Numerous other drinks can be healthy additions to your diet. Two drinks to reach for on an as-needed basis and are loaded with nutrients, include: 

·      Green juice: Freshly juiced vegetables and greens are a great way to flood your body with vitamins and minerals. While it may not be feasible to enjoy a green juice every day, look to this beverage to get back on track after an over-indulgent weekend or when you want a natural dose of energy.

·      Bone broth: As we enter the cooler seasons (read: more germs) you may want to consider rotating bone broth into your routine, especially if you’re feeling under the weather. Bone broth provides collagen, gelatin and amino acids that can help promote healthy gut integrity, enhance nutrient absorption, and protect bone health. It may improve the health of your hair, skin and nails, too. Regardless of the touted health benefits, sipping a piping hot mug of homemade broth is simply comforting.

If you decide to give any of these drinks a try, tag @ascendcycle and let us know if you feel a difference!