Most of us may have water on tap and milk chilling in the fridge, but did you know these budget-friendly bevs (and more!) could do more than quench your thirst? We’ve rounded up 21 drink suggestions for every type of situation and need. From pickle juice to whiskey to cherry juice, these drinks can boost endurance, ease colds, and even help beat upset stomachs.
For Muscle Cramps — Pickle Juice If you can stomach it, pickle juice might help alleviate Charlie horses — painful muscle spasms, usually in the legs. Those same cramp-fighting properties can also help people prevent painful contractions from even occurring. Research suggests the juice may even help our muscles and brains communicate better when fatiguedReflex inhibition of electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans. Miller, K.C., Mack, G.W., Knight, K.L. Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2010 May;42(5):953-61..
For a Head Cold — Lemon and Honey Tea Drinking fluids can generally help loosen up the gunk that makes us congested (hot tea or broth may be especially helpful)Nasal Congestion. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Last reviewed: August 2, 2011.. It may be best, however, to steer clear of milk and other dairy beverages when you’re all stuffed up. Some people might be more susceptible to an increase in phlegm production (ew) when loading up on dairyDoes milk increase mucus production? Bartley, J., McGlashan, S.R. Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Counties-Manukau District Health Board, New Zealand. Medical Hypotheses 2010 Apr;74(4):732-4. Epub 2009 Nov 25.. A hot toddy — whiskey, lemon, and honey — may alleviate a cold (and there’s liquor, so it’s got to make us feel better, right?).
For Mouth Sores — Coconut Milk We don’t have to tell you to avoid spicy stuff… it’s gonna hurt. If you do have mouth sores or burns from hot food, try gargling (or drinking some) coconut milk because coconut oil can help treat fungal infections, like canker soresIn vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Ogbolu, D.O., Oni, A.A., Daini, O.A. Department of Medical Microbiology & Parasitology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of Medicinal Food, Jun;10(2):384-7..
For Constipation — Aloe If you’re backed up, try aloe drinks — aloe has laxative effectsAloe Vera: A Short Review. Surjushe, A., Vasani Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2008; 53(4): 163–166.. A hefty glass of water with powdered psyllium (a plant fiber) can also help get you on the right trackPsyllium. AHFS Consumer Medication Information. Last Revision: October 1, 2010..
For Sleepiness — Coffee/Water/Spirulina For a mid-day pick-me-up, sip on a mug of coffee (duh). Water can perk you up, too, and so can a drink spiked with spirulina powder (you can get it at most health food stores). The powder, derived from blue-green algae, is one of the most nutrient dense foods with a ton of vitamins and minerals that boost energySpirulina in health care management. Kulshreshtha, A., Zacharia, A.J., Jarouliya, U., et al. School of Studies in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Jiwaji University, India. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2008 Oct;9(5):400-5..
To Fall Asleep — Tart Cherry Juice/Warm Milk/Chamomile Brandy used to be the go-to sedative in the medical community during the 19th centuryMedicinal brandy. Guly, H., Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital Plymouth, Derriford Rd., Plymouth, UK. 2011 July; 82(7-2): 951–954.. A hot whiskey (or seven) before bed may soothe you into dreamland, but for an alcohol-free drink, try tart cherry juice. It ups melatonin levels, which help improve sleep duration and sleep qualityEffect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Howatson, G., Bell, P.G., Tallent, J. School of Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Northumberland Building, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. European Journal of Nutrition, 2011Oct 30.. Chamomile can also help ease you into a deep sleepChamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Srivastava, J.K, Shankar, E., Gupta, S. Department of Urology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Molecular Medicine Reports, 2012 Nov 1; 3(6): 895-901..
For Spicy Food — Milk/Yogurt The fat and protein in milk or drinkable yogurt (such as kefir) can ease the burn of spicy food (so nonfat milk or dairy products may not do the trick)Temporal effectiveness of mouth-rinsing on capsaicin mouth-burn. Nasrawi, C.W., Pangborn, R.M. Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California. Physiology and Behavior, 1990 Apr;47(4):617-23.. The slightly acidic milk helps neutralize ingredients like capsaicin, which are basic.
For Bad Breath — Water This one’s easy. Since acids — like coffee, and orange juice — and sugary beverages bring on bad breath, it may be best to follow the malodorous beverages with water to wash that stink awayBreath odor. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Last reviewed: February 22, 2012..