4 Popular Health Hacks For The Thrifty Student

Reality Check: Living a health-focused lifestyle is no longer taboo, or about being thin, or reserved for hippies. In fact, being healthy is easier and more affordable than ever.

However, there’s an overwhelming amount of advice on the market surrounding health hacks. And it’s nearly impossible to know what will work for you, or work at all. Here’s the low-down on four viral health hacks that could change your life, along with tips on how to make them work on a student budget.

1. Bulletproof Coffee

What is it?

This morning drink is made by blending coffee with a combination of brain octane oil, ghee a.k.a. grass-fed clarified butter, and cinnamon. It’s designed to do just what it says: prepare you to combat all the B.S. you might run into throughout your day by powering up your body with healthy fats.

The Science

When you drink Bulletproof coffee, a process called ketosis is triggered by your body due to the high-fat and omega-3 content partnered with the low-carb content. This process has been proven to trigger weight loss, curb cravings, and boost cognitive function. Bulletproof addicts claim that the drink provides a daily dose of mental clarity that traditional coffee doesn’t.  

Low Budget Hack

Many students can’t afford to hit the health-food store for brain octane oil or ghee. As a substitute, try blending your morning coffee with extra virgin coconut oil instead. The high-fat content of the coconut oil will kick-start the same ketosis process and give it that creamy texture.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

What is it?

Next on the docket is apple cider vinegar, a vinegar derived from fermented apples with a golden amber colour. ACV is a product that you might’ve seen in the back of your mom’s cupboard, picking up dust as it went unused for months at a time. Now, however, ACV has made its way from the cooking world to the health world as a daily detox for your body.

The Science

ACV meant to be taken in daily doses of 1-2 tbsp to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, kickstart weight loss and clear your skin. Women’s Health suggests that the fermentation process of the vinegar helps to increase the and the good bacteria in the gut, which can help combat everything from daily digestive issues to acne.

Low Budget Hack

More good news about ACV: you can buy it at almost any major grocery store for under $10 a bottle. With that said, some health guru’s suggest that you go for the organic, unfiltered kind for the best impact, which may ring up at a few more dollars than filtered ACV. To stick to your budget, buy a few apples and ferment your own at home!

3. Kombucha

What is it?

That is the resounding question heard around the world wherever kombucha is becoming mainstream. Kombucha is a fermented tea-based drink made with bacteria, yeast, and sugar (the good kinds). It’s been known to help combat everything from bloating to more severe health issues, such as high blood pressure. It tastes something like a healthier version of soda, but its impacts on the body are entirely the opposite.

The Science

Kombucha is made by adding a colony of healthy yeast and bacteria to tea, then allowing the liquid to ferment. The process results in a beverage containing many uber-good-for-you compounds, including B-vitamins, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. These have been proven to help maintain good immune and digestive health. Wins all around.

Low Budget Hack

As kombucha continues to hit mainstream markets, it’s becoming more and more easily accessible on the daily. You can find a variety of brands at your local grocery store for $4-6 per bottle. If you’re not so into racking up the single-use purchases, though, you can make your own at home. This process requires more of an investment since you’ll have to order some of the ingredients online and the fermentation process can take a couple of days. However, once you create your kombucha, it can last for up to three months in the fridge.

4. Lemon Water with Himalayan Pink Salt

What is it?

This one is pretty self-explanatory, and your B.S. radar might be going off just by reading it. But, this isn’t any lemon water with any salt: you’ll need lukewarm water, fresh lemon juice, and Himalayan pink salt to nail this hack. Adding this two-ingredient tonic to your morning routine can boost your electrolyte levels, keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy and clear the body of toxins. Ladies, this hack is especially helpful for keeping the urinary tract clear of bacteria if you often suffer from UTIs.

The Science

You might be questioning the salt element of this mixture due to table salt’s bad rap in the health world. However, Himalayan pink salt has an entirely different mineral composition than the refined salt that you’re used to tasting in food dishes.  Its 84 trace minerals have been proven to aid digestion, hydration, migraine relief, sleep, and cardiovascular health among other things. Lemon, the second element of this concoction, is also extremely beneficial to add to your daily routine. Since lemons are high in potassium and vitamin C, their juice acts as an immune booster, controls blood pressure, and helps out your nerve function. Lemons are also diuretic, meaning that they flush toxins from the body and keep your urinary tract clear of bacteria.

Low Budget Hack

You’re better off making this drink at home than searching out any store-bought versions if you want to stick to a tight budget. Himalayan pink salt will run you approximately $8-10 for around 250g at your local grocery store or health food store. Although this might seem steep, don’t worry – you only need a pinch per day, meaning one bottle will last you months.    

Your Next Steps…

To get started on your health hack journey, spend the next two or three days monitoring how you feel throughout the day. Are your energy levels low? Is your skin breaking out? Is your digestion off? Listen to your body and take queues to guide yourself around which of these four health hacks could work best for you. Then, hit the grocery store and make them work in whatever way you can – whether that means subbing ghee for coconut oil or ordering kombucha ingredients online. Finally, implement your chosen hack(s) into your routine for two weeks minimum, feel the benefits, and never turn back.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.
Grace MacLeod

Grace MacLeod

Grace MacLeod is a Creative Industries student at Ryerson University, marketing strategist for McMillan, and lover of all things beauty.