Aside from drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, what are a few healthy beverage choices?

Staying hydrated is very important…especially as we near summer months! Many of my patients tell me that they don’t drink near enough fluids to keep themselves healthy. They are at risk for becoming dehydrated, which is the loss of water and salts from the body. Although fluid loss occurs during hard physical work, it can also take place during simple tasks such as gardening, walking or riding a bike — especially in hot or humid conditions. I instruct my patients to try to make water their primary beverage choice. It is simply the best for our system. But I constantly am hearing phrases like “water is boring” or “I don’t like the taste of our water”. So, to supplement their fluid needs a variety of other beverages can be healthfully consumed. I recommend choosing non-caffeinated beverages you enjoy. And several studies have shown that children and adults drink approximately 45 percent more liquid when it is flavored. In this case, try one of the many varieties of Old Orchard juice. If you are watching your weight, Old Orchard Healthy Balance or Cranberry Naturals juice would be good choices. You could also try a flavor packet added to water or simply flavoring your water with a variety of things like: lemon slices, cucumbers, or mint. Old Orchard’s 100% fruit juice is a good option too. It is filled with vitamins and is all natural, but be mindful of the serving size and the calories from this beverage. You may want to limit 100% juice to a couple of servings a day. You could consume regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk also. These are filled with calcium and protein.
Health care professionals would urge you to limit/avoid beverages with a lot of added sugars. Examples include: soda, fruit punch, milkshakes, flavored sugary coffee drinks and other “specialty” drinks that have added sugars. In addition, I recommend my patients to limit intake of diet soda as well. Many studies have found that consuming too much diet soda may lead to increased abdominal fat and increased risk of the metabolic syndrome. As defined by the Mayo Clinic, metabolic syndrome is: “a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.” So, be sure to make healthy fluid choices and stay hydrated for good health!

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