Written By: Mariana Garza
Water is the most important nutrient for your body. About 70% of our bodies are made up of water, so it’s important to make sure we are staying hydrated throughout the day! Drinking enough water will support your immune system, promote healthy digestion, and provide the hydration you need to stay physically active. On average, you should aim for at least 8 cups of water per day. While this might seem excessive and impossible to reach, it is possible using some simple steps to reach your hydration goals! Water is undoubtedly the best option for hydrating the right way. Even though it may be tempting to reach for the nearest sports drink, soda or juice, sugar-sweetened beverages can increase our risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Here are five sustainable tips to help you stay healthy and hydrated.
Use a fun or colorful reusable water bottle.
- Use a reusable bottle that you can refill throughout the day.
- A water bottle in a design or your favorite color might motivate you to drink more often
- Ensure you reach your goal of 8 cups of water a day by filling up your water bottle the night before to have it ready to go in the morning!
Eat water-dense fruits and vegetables.
- Did you know that some fruits and vegetables are over 70% water–some are even over 90%! Fruits like cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, bananas, grapes, oranges, pears, and pineapples all have a high-water content.
- As for vegetables, go for lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach, cooked squash, carrots, cooked broccoli, and avocados.
Limit sugary beverages like soda and fruit juice.
- There’s a time and place for every type of drink. Like food, drinks can be categorized into three categories, “Whoa, Slow, and Go.”
- “Whoa” includes drinks that have limited nutritional value and should be consumed once in a while or during special occasions. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, juice, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and whole milk belong in this category.
- “Slow” includes drinks that you can enjoy but should limit them to at most 2-3 times per week. Some examples include 2% milk, 100% fruit juice, and sports drinks.
- “Go” includes drinks that you can enjoy every day. Water, 1% or skim milk, and unsweetened teas belong to this category.
- If you have any doubts, check the nutrition facts label on the back of the product for the amount of added sugar per serving.
- Drink choices that can be enjoyed regularly include water, 1% or skim milk, and unsweetened teas.
- Infuse your water with fruit to enhance it with some natural sweetness and change up the flavor.
- You can customize your infused water to your own fruit preferences! Check out the Infused Water recipe for some ideas!
Make it a fun challenge!
- Get some friends together and compete to see who can reach their goals each day. This is a fun way to help keep you accountable to meet your hydration goals! There are even free apps, like WaterReminder that allow you to track your water. This and other app options are available for iOS and Android.
Use these tips at school, work or on a hot summer day! It can be a daunting task to increase fluid intake but if you follow these tips, you will be drinking more water in no time!