How to Hydrate Without Adding Sugar
By Debra Rodzinak
Our bodies are made up mostly of water. The average person does not drink enough water to sufficiently keep the body hydrated. This lack of fluid can create problems for the cells and organs in the body. The heart, brain, and lungs can be affected.
If a person exercises, the loss of fluid needs to be replaced. However, many sports drinks have added sugars, sweetened teas and coffee drinks, flavored milk, juices, energy drinks, soft drinks, and other popular beverages are loaded with added sugars.
The average amount of added sugars is astounding. The average male is consuming 20 teaspoons of added sugars per day and the average woman is consuming 15 teaspoons of added sugars daily. This equates to an additional 240 to 350 additional calories per day just from drinking. Chronic health risks such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are directly linked to an excessive sugar intake. The good news is that there are some natural ways to keep the body hydrated without adding sugar.
By drinking infused water, the average person can cut out an average of 300 calories daily in what they are drinking. Herbs, spices, fruit, and vegetables can be soaked in water to provide an infusion of taste that adds flavor to plain water. Soak the added ingredients for at least 30 minutes or longer. Some simple ways to infuse water include:
- Lemon sliced into thin rounds
- Lemon and cucumber slices
- Wedges of lemon and lime
- Cucumber slices and mint leaves
- Plain mint leaves
- Cinnamon sticks
- Lemon wedges and blueberries that have been muddled
- Kiwi slices and muddled raspberries
- Fresh ginger slices
Eat Your Water
In addition to drinking water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables that have a high water content can provide additional hydration. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, cabbage, broccoli, and tomatoes are just a few examples of fruits and vegetables that contain over 90 percent water.
It is easier to sip water during the day, so carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go. When the weather is hot, add ice to the bottle to keep the liquid cool. Recently, I was able to fill my empty reusable water bottle at the airport at a convenient water fountain that had a filtered water spout for bottled water.
If you are interested in drinking the proper amount of water, just remember this rule: Take your weight and divide it in half. This is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking daily. For example, a 200-pound man should be drinking 100 ounces of water daily.