“Sante,” “L’Chayim,” “Salud,” … no matter what language you speak, toasts are often blessings for good health. But when the beverage is the color blue and contains more sugar than a candy bar, that drink is nothing to cheer about. The fact is that most of us don’t realize how important it is to drink properly or how much of an impact poor hydration has on your state of health.
Just think about your last physical exam: If you were lucky, your doctor asked you about your diet and if you were tipping the scales, you may have been told to lose some weight. But when was the last time your healthcare provider asked you about the types of fluid you were drinking?
Choosing the Right Beverages to
Rehydrate and Stay Healthy
Since water is the largest constituent of the human body, comprising about 60 percent of your body weight, it’s time to raise your glass (or bottle) a little more often. Here are a few guidelines that are easy to swallow:
• Everything counts: Water, sparkling water, tea, coffee, etc. Check your food labels and choose beverages that have no added sugar whenever possible.
• If you don’t like plain water, try adding a splash of your favorite juice to provide a little color and flavor. Use the ones marked 100 percent fruit juice.
• Make a big, steamy mug of herbal tea and add a few slices of apple or pear. When you finish your beverage, you will have a warm, delicious fruit treat waiting for you at the bottom of your cup.
• Eat more watery foods, like soups, fruits and vegetables. These foods will make you feel more satiated and may help promote weight loss as well as better hydration.
• Drink water at room temperature. This may help you consume more than you would if it was too hot or too cold.
• Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Thirst comes too late and gets satisfied too quickly. Thirst is not a good indicator for how much liquid your body needs.
• Drink extra fluids when you exercise and in warm weather to replace fluids losses from perspiration.
• Your need for fluids increase when you have diarrhea, constipation, or if you’re vomiting. Proper hydration is also essential in helping to fight upper respiratory infections and warm liquids can soothe the common cold and flu.
Just as important as drinking enough of the right beverages is making sure you’re not overdoing the wrong ones. Americans consume nearly 800 calories per day from sugared beverages, a major contributor to our obesity crisis.
Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN is director and owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants, LLC. She counsels individuals, groups and corporations in wellness programs and seminars. She appears regularly as an expert guest on national television and radio programs and in the press.
Bonnie has served as a spokesperson to the New York State Dietetic Association and for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
As a prolific writer, she has written numerous articles for leading newspapers and magazines. She was a consultant to best-selling books, including “Nutrition for Dummies” and “Cholesterol for Dummies,” and has written chapters for many other textbooks.
She is the author of, “Read It BeforeYou Eat It,” translating confusing and misleading terminology into consumer-friendly information. For more information, visit http://www.bonnietaubdix.com.
The articles written by guest contributors are the sole responsibility of the individual writers in terms of factual accuracy and opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of this blog.