What are some healthy beverage choices?
Our bodies need fluid throughout the day so it’s important to think about what you drink. Did you know that the human body is made up of more than 60% water? Water is in all of our organs, muscles, fat, and even bones. Water works in the body to flush out toxins, remove waste, keep joints lubricated, control body temperature, and carry nutrients to the places they are needed.
Water is the best choice to hydrate your body. Drinks like sodas, juice, energy drinks, sweetened coffee or tea, and sports drinks can contain sugar and will increase blood glucose. If you don’t love plain water, try adding some fresh lemon, lime, mint or frozen fruit to make fruit infused water. There are fruit infused water bottles and pitchers if you want some help getting started. Regular wide-mouth water bottles work well too. Some stores sell fruit-infused water. Carbonated water and unsweetened tea can also be good choices. Unsweetened coffee with steamed milk tastes like a treat without the added sugar. Diet beverages are defined as less than 10 calories per serving. These drinks contain a sugar substitute and shouldn’t raise glucose but they should still be used in moderation.
So how much fluid do you need to drink each day? Fluid needs are different for each person due to body weight, activity level, or any medical conditions. A good place to start for recommended fluid intake is looking at your body weight. Take your weight in pounds, divide it by 2 and that equals an estimated number of ounces you should be drinking per day. For example if your body weight is 170 pounds then recommended fluid intake is around 85 ounces. Speak to your healthcare provider is you have questions about fluid recommendations.
Foods can provide water for our body too. Many fruits and vegetables are around 90% water. About 20% of our daily water intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Just another reason to eat fruits and vegetables every day.
Think about what you drink and make good choices for your health!
by Christine McKinney, RD LDN CDE
Johns Hopkins Medicine