Does what you drink really matter for your health? Our choices are endless, but from baby to adult our choices of liquids can make a big difference to how we feel.
What about you? When you reach for a beverage, does it have to be sweet? Do you like water? Do you live at Starbuck’s?
In general, we need to take in as much as we put out in respiration, perspiration, and other bodily functions. Some studies suggest that ingesting any fluid as long as it is enough to cover what you are expending is good enough.
Water is present in fruit, vegetables, soup, oatmeal, and anything you cook with water, so your body absorbs the H20 from those sources as well. So, despite what you drink, eating healthful fruits and vegetables will add to your total liquids and help you stay hydrated.
On top of that, some have probably heard of the benefits of drinking eight glasses of water per day.
Studies point to benefits ranging from preventing cancer to improving wrinkles, but the science is contradictory at best.
Some scientists claim 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated, but those figures are argued greatly among MDs and nutritionists. Ultimately, it can be said that fluids you ingest can help you or sabotage you.
Good Ole Water
The eight-glass-a-day rule can be overkill. According to many nutritionists, there is no evidence to prove you need that much fluid per day, and some say any fluid ingestion is fine, as the body can separate the water from the coffee, tea, or juice you are drinking.
But the added calories are another issue. You can blow your diet by drinking your calories, so water may be your best bet if you are counting calories. Water is easily absorbed, has zero calories, and stores well.
When considering your water options, there is no need to buy bottled water unless you are used to the convenience — in fact, most bottled water is filtered tap water, bottled and resold at an astronomical price.
Our bottled water still costs more than gasoline.
New research also warns against storing plastic water bottles in hot cars because the chemicals from the plastics leach into the water, so get yourself a stainless steel water bottle and be hip.
If European mineral spring water is your fancy, then make sure you buy the water in glass bottles. BevMo in Brea sells Aqua Panna from Italy — still and carbonated — in glass by the case.
If you must, plastic bottles should be stored for no more than six months, and should recycled, not reused.
As a beverage aside, did you know that beverages are where many restaurants make the most money?
If you are on a budget these days, skipping the drink order at a restaurant can save you a small bundle. On average, a family of four can spend over $10 on beverages alone, and some restaurants are charging for refills. Water with lemon, please!
Future articles in this series will cover the hidden calories and sugars in juice, sports drinks, and an assessement of whether you really need that morning coffee.