How to be better with beverages

March is National Nutrition Month and we’re celebrating with tips from our team of registered dietitians every Friday. They’ll tackle a different topic each week, so be sure to make an appointment to check back all month long. First up, Adrianne Kartholl, RDN, CD, fills us in on how to be smarter about beverages.

Hydration is key to staying healthy, and what you drink and how much you drink matters. While sweetened beverages are the first choice for many, we encourage you to think twice before reaching for your favorite juice or soda. Many sweetened beverages pack a lot of extra sugar and calories. Over time, even one drink a day can add up to several added pounds a year. Not to mention, these beverages may lack beneficial nutrients.

When quenching your thirst, water is best. Healthy adults should aim to consume 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water a day. We know, we know … water can taste kind of plain, but there are plenty of exciting ways to add major flavor.

Add delicious fruits, herbs and vegetables to your favorite water bottle to flavor your water naturally. Crowd favorites include lemon, cucumber and orange. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try adding watermelon and mint! Don’t be afraid to play with different combinations of flavorful add-ins like pineapple, mint and ginger, honeydew and lime, or blueberries and peach.

There are also a variety of sugar-free drink mixes available on the market that can be added to any water bottle. These are great to keep in your desk if you’re looking for a quick solution.

Speaking of that water bottle, a great way to insure you meet your fluid goal for the day is to keep it close by. Set a goal to drink one before lunch and one before leaving the office. Every ounce adds up, and over time it can make a big difference.

Soda, though a favorite among many, can actually dehydrate you, regardless if it is diet or regular. If you decide to treat yourself, be sure to add an extra glass of water to offset the effects of the pop and insure you stay adequately hydrated.

Are you a fan of flavored coffee drinks? Try ordering your coffee with skim milk and substitute the sugary syrups for sugar-free options. Choosing low fat milk over cream can significantly reduce the overall number of calories and fat you consume in a day. Want the whipped cream topping? Skipping just this one item can save you over 100 calories!

Be smart about what you sip and you might be surprised by the results.

 

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