Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Those words blare at us throughout the summer months as the temperature rises, but what drinks are the best drinks to choose? With all of the sport drinks, vitamin fortified water, fruit juice, iced teas and slew of soft drinks currently on the market; it is difficult to determine which are actually beneficial and which are just empty calories.
Just about any healthcare professional will tell you that water is still the best hydrator offered. It is all natural, easily accessible, and, best of all, free. While many consider water to be a boring option, there are plenty of ways to make it a tastier beverage. One way to add some flavor to water is to add some freshly cut lime or lemon. Cucumber and orange can also be added to water to make it flavorful. An even easier way to add zest to water is to add True Lemon, True Lime, or True Orange.
Another way to consume water without increasing calories is to brew your own ice tea. To do this, simply prepare your favorite hot tea, add a sugar free sweetener (optional), allow it to steep and then add ice until it reaches the desired temperature. It is best to opt for naturally flavored beverages, but another possible choice is to add flavoring to your water with Crystal Light or a similar product.
The beverages that you should avoid are fruit juices and soda. Both of these drinks offer too many calories. True, juice is better than soda, but it can have many calories without providing any real nutrients. In particular, juices that are not 100% juice or contain high fructose corn syrup and should be avoided. Sodas should be limited, and at the very least, opt for diet varieties.
As for the mounds of sports drinks and vitamin fortified waters, it is better to leave those on the shelf. Those drinks are generally high in calories, and are best for athletes or highly active individuals.
When you are hydrated, you will feel better, have more energy, and be more alert. Being well hydrated also helps with appetite regulation, so enjoy natures best beverage.