Shannon Center Weekly Nutrition Tip - Importance of Water
Guess which nutrient is calorie free, salt free, sugar free and fat free? Water! It's the most important nutrient for your body! Why is water so great? Water helps to flush out excess toxins, maintains regularity, transports nutrients and oxygen, and best of all, increases energy and helps fight fatigue.
A study from Tufts University looked at the link between sugary drinks and the nutrition habits of over 900 adults. Results showed that those who drank the largest amounts of sugary drinks were at a higher risk of obesity and had a lower intake of fiber. What does this mean for you? Cut out the sugary, empty calories drinks! Take a look at some common offenders.
Beverage Total Calories Grams of Sugar:
- Monster 16 oz. 200 cal., 54 g
- Frappuccino Café Vanilla 420 cal., 70 g
- Coke 20 oz. bottle 239 cal., 67 g
- Medium McDonalds Sweet Tea 184 cal., 45 g
- 16 oz. Lemonade 232 cal., 62 g
Many people when they are tired head to the vending machine for a soda, or local coffee shop for a pick me up. Caffeinated and sugary drinks will give you an initial boost of energy but will inevitably give you that crash a few hours later. Instead, water will help to keep you hydrated, leading to more consistent energy levels throughout the day.
However, are you consuming enough? How much is enough? You can start with the minimum of eight 8 oz. (1 cup) glasses of pure water per day; but, another way to gauge how much fluid to consume, is to take your body weight and divide by two, which equals how many ounces of water you should drink per day.
Not a fan of water? Start slowly so your body can get used to the extra fluid you are consuming. I recommend trading one caffeinated or sweetened beverage and replacing with 20 oz. of cold water every day until you are mostly consuming water (And NOT the bottled water kind! Did you know that 25% of bottled water comes from the same place your tap water comes from?).
- Try using a BPA free water bottle to reuse throughout the day or an insulated cup like the Aqua Tally cups that I use. Keeps my water ice cold all day AND helps you count how many glasses you drink! If you are in the mood for something besides water, jazz it up a bit.
- Try infused water. Add sliced lemon, strawberries, orange, or cucumber, etc. into a water pitcher, fill with ice and water and leave in fridge overnight. Pour into your water bottle for some added flavor throughout the day.
- Try unsweetened ice tea with a slice of lemon to give you a different flavor without adding any sugar calories.
Kelly Devine Rickert MS RDN CSSD LDN