Did you know sugary drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet?
What's a good substitute for soda?
Switching to H2O couldn't come soon enough--a third of U.S. children and teens, and more than two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.
H2O makes up more than 60 percent of your body weight and every system depends on it. Your body needs water to flush toxins out of vital organs and carry nutrients to your cells. The result? Energized muscles and glowing skin.
Feel sluggish? Drink more water and less sugary, caffeinated beverages which cause short spikes of energy followed by periods of fatigue. They also contribute to dehydration which saps energy and causes headaches. Bonus: cutting soft drinks will also lower how many calories you're consuming which could help you lose weight.
¿Just how much agua are we talkin’?
For your body to function properly, you must replenish the water you lose daily through your breath, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements.
¿But how much is that? ¿What if I don't like water?
5 Tips to Drink More Water
- Follow the "8 by 8" rule: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day."
- Keep it close: Always keep a water bottle with you--in your desk, bag, or car. A measured water bottle will help you keep track of the amount you drink. Mi hermana keeps a 1 liter bottle at work and knows if she drinks two a day, she's good.
- Complement water with healthy drinks such as green tea which has natural antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and contains fluoride to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Mint tea is an antispasmodic, meaning it can relax muscles, ease cramps, and aid digestion.
- Make a spritzer: Fill a glass halfway with still or seltzer water and the other half with orange juice which is an excellent source of the immune system building vitamin C or cranberry juice which has antibacterial properties that fight off gum disease and urinary tract infections. Half the juice means half the calories plus 100% juice means you will avoid excess sugar.
- Make plain water taste great: I squeeze lemon, lime, or orange into my water. Or how about this two-fer: make an agua de fruta by throwing a pear or some strawberries in the blender with water. I'm hydrating and getting my vitamins!
Muy importante: You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, and your health. Plus always remember to drink water before, during, and after you exercise.
Swap sugary drinks for water or other healthy beverages and almost immediately, you'll feel and look great.
¡I'll drink to that!
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Do you drink enough water?