Making Better Beverage Choices for a Healthier Lifestyle

Making Better Beverage Choices for a Healthier Lifestyle

Making better beverage choices is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being at any age. What you drink can be just as important as what you eat. When deciding what to drink, choose options that provide more nutrients with limited added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Follow these simple tips to stay hydrated in a healthy way and make better beverage choices that support your health.

Choose Water: A Better Beverage Choice

Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Regular soda, lemonade, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks, and other sweetened drinks are the number one source of added sugars in the American diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to excess weight gain, a risk factor in developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes. Drinking too many sugar-sweetened beverages not only affects cardiovascular health but also the health of your teeth.

Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining overall health. Proper hydration helps improve cognitive function, maintain energy levels, support digestion, and regulate body temperature. It also aids in nutrient absorption and keeps your skin healthy.

Read Labels

Check and compare nutrition labels when shopping for beverages. Some drinks may advertise they are healthy but are actually loaded with calories and added sugars. Look for these common forms of added sugars listed on nutrition labels: sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, syrups, concentrated fruit juice, agave, and honey. Be sure to check the serving size too. Often one container may be more than one serving size, which means double – or even triple – the added sugars.

Cut Calories from Coffee

Coffee itself has no calories, but some coffee-based drinks such as flavored lattes and mochas can contain several hundred calories and more than 15 teaspoons of sugar. Skip the whipped cream and chocolate or caramel drizzle. Go for low-fat milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a lower-calorie coffee drink. Watch portions of coffee creamer too as these tend to be high in sugar and contain unhealthy fats.

Grab a Bottle on the Go

Carry a clean, reusable water bottle with you and fill up throughout the day. Staying hydrated is essential, and having a bottle on hand can make it easier to choose water over other beverages.

Add Flavor to Water Naturally

Perk up plain water or seltzer water with slices of citrus fruit, berries, or cucumber. This is a refreshing way to add flavor without added sugar.

Healthy Alternatives to Sugary Beverages

Consider healthier alternatives to sugary beverages, such as herbal teas, infused waters, and low-sugar smoothies. These options provide hydration and can be rich in antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.

Importance of Electrolytes

Electrolytes are vital for maintaining fluid balance in the body. Natural sources like coconut water can help replenish electrolytes without the added sugars found in many sports drinks.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Moderate your alcohol intake to maintain better health. Opt for healthier alternatives like sparkling water with a splash of juice or mocktails made with fresh fruit and herbs.

Make Gradual Changes

Transitioning to healthier beverage choices can be more sustainable when done gradually. Start by replacing one sugary drink a day with water or an unsweetened alternative.

Making better beverage choices is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By choosing water, reading labels, cutting calories from coffee, carrying a water bottle, and adding natural flavors to water, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Remember, small changes in your beverage choices can lead to significant improvements in your health.

Do you want to make infused water? Get the recipe below!