By: Kristi Goode
This is one of the most commonly asked questions. What should I drink? What's the best best option other than water? While water is the number choice for hydration, it can get a little boring. However, the other extreme is sugar laden drinks like soda and some fruit juices. How does that play into a healthier lifestyle? And are there options in between that are a little bit better?
There are a few guidelines out there in regards to how much water you should drink in a day. Do you drink half your body weight in water or do you drink 8 glasses per day? Also, do you include other fluids like coffee or tea into the total amount of your daily intake. These questions float around everywhere and it seems there is no one best answer. However, hydration and water are important for your body's daily functioning. It helps to support digestion, the creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature, to name a few.
There are several ways to increase your water consumption through out the day. Keep a bottle or glass of water in sight to remember to sip on it throughout the day. A great way to start your day, and a great habit, is to drink at least 8 ounces upon waking each morning. Sip and don't guzzle water, and have a glass before and after meals. Try adding berries or fresh fruit. There are also carbonated options on the market these days too. Just watch for added artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Everyhealth.com has a great article for alternatives to drink instead of soda.
Juice isn't inherently bad, right? It is directly from a fruit. right? Not always. So me juices are loaded with added sugars or sweeteners. Your best option is to read the label for added sugars, first and then determine the serving size before drinking the entire bottle. Some juices are 100% fruit juice, but still contain a lot of calories if drinking more than one serving. Another consideration is that eating the actual fruit gives you more fiber. Vegetable juices are option too. Just read the label for added sweeteners. They are a little more filling than fruit juices, but still not as nutrient dense as the vegetable itself.
Soda or Colas
Soda contributes more sugar to the diet than any other food! Soda is also void of any nutrients. According to everyday health.com, "Drinking soda can be a detriment to human health. And drinking soda is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, colorectal cancer, and all causes of death." "It's also linked to obesity." It's amazing how one can consume so many extra calories from soda. Just decreasing a soda per day, or swapping out soda for water will greatly reduce caloric consumption over time!
Adding more water to your day or choosing to swap out cola for a better beverage, such as a carbonated or fruit infused water will be a great choice for your overall health.