Water is always your best beverage choice! If plain water bores you, try:
- Infused water – add crushed berries, a slice or two of lemon or lime, or cucumbers to add a hint of flavor.
- Sparkling water – Carbonation can make it a little more interesting!
- Sparkling juice – skip the bottled kind, make your own. Add just a splash (1 oz) of your favorite fruit juice to 12 oz of sparkling water for a healthy treat.
- Tea – herbal tea is a great way to add flavor to your water. Caffeinated teas provide antioxidants with an array of health benefits.
- Coffee – also contains antioxidants and an array of health benefits. Be mindful of how your body handles caffeine. Some can only tolerate a cup or two a day. Coffee can quickly turn from a healthy beverage to an unhealthy one if you add the wrong stuff. Some low-fat milk is ok, but limit coffee drinks with full fat milk, cream, and syrups and sugars!
Drinks to Consume in Moderation:
- Artificially sweetened beverages – Diet drinks may contain zero calories, but research has linked these drinks to weight gain. The reason? The sweet taste may perpetuate sugar cravings that can lead to overeating.
- 100% Fruit Juice – While this sounds healthy, juice is very high in calories and is a concentrated source of sugar. You’re better off eating the whole fruit. You’ll get even more vitamin and minerals, plus fiber to keep you full. Fresh fruit is also full of water – a great way to stay hydrated!
- Milk – Lowfat milk is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin D and other essential nutrients but just like all other liquid calories, it’s easy to take in more than you need. A glass a day is OK, but get your protein and calcium from other sources too!
- Alcohol – Moderate drinking can be healthy, but not for everyone. The benefits must outweigh the risks for you. Also, keep in mind that alcohol is high in calories and low in nutrients, a poor choice is you are watching your weight.
- Avoid sugar sweetened beverages like sweet tea, energy drinks and sodas. They are a source of concentrated energy without providing healthy nutrients!