Think Before You Drink |

Think Before You Drink |

Because many beverages are loaded with extra sugar, calories and carbohydrates, what you drink is as important as what you eat. It may not seem like much, but an extra soda or sweet tea per day can add up over time.

Their lack of overall nutrients can actually be filling you up with empty calories without helping your body maintain a healthy balance. Use the tips below to help you make better beverage choices and help your overall health and wellness.

Reach for Water

Water is your body’s main chemical component and makes up almost 70% of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly, hence the importance of drinking water regularly to rehydrate throughout the day.

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

• About 15.5 cups of fluid per day for men.

• About 11.5 cups of fluid per day for women.

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. The Mayo Clinic recommends that eight of these cups are water.

Experts recommend drinking water with each meal and between meals, while you exercise, and if you feel thirsty. The Mayo Clinic says you will know if you’re getting enough water when:

• You rarely feel thirsty.

• Your urine is colorless or light yellow.

Compare Food Labels

If you reach for something other than water, use the nutrition label when shopping for beverages. Check and compare calories, amounts of added sugars and servings per container.

Try to avoid extra sugary drinks or beverages with of calories and carbohydrates. If you’re looking for something flavored, you can always jazz up your plain water or seltzer water with lemon, lime or orange slices. These additions can give you the health benefits of extra antioxidants, as well.

Rethink Your Coffee

Skip the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle on your morning coffee.

Instead, opt for a plain cup of back coffee or use low-fat milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg for a lower-calorie coffee.

The extra calories consumed by overloaded coffee can put you behind in a big way before your day even gets started.

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