Guess which nutrient is calorie free, salt free, sugar free and fat free? Water ... the most important nutrient for your body! Why is water so great? Water helps to flush out excess toxins, maintains regularity, transports nutrients and oxygen, and best of all, increases energy and helps fight fatigue!
Caffeine and Hydration
Most people when tired head to the vending machine for a soda or local coffee shop for a pick me up. Caffeinated and sugary drinks will give you an initial boost of energy but will inevitably give you that crash a few hours later. Instead, water will help to keep you hydrated leading to more consistent energy levels throughout the day.
But are you consuming enough water? How much water is enough to stay hydrated? You can start with the minimum of 8 - 8 oz (1 cup) glasses of pure water per day. But another way to gauge how much fluid to consume, is to take your body weight and divide by 2, which equals how many ounces of water you should drink per day.
Not a fan of water? Start slowly so your body can get used to the extra fluid you are consuming. I recommend trading one caffeinated or sweetened beverage and replacing with 20 oz. of cold water every day until you are mostly consuming water.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Try using a BPA-free water bottle to reuse throughout the day or an insulated cup. These keep water ice cold all day AND help you count how many glasses you drink! If you are in the mood for something besides water, jazz it up a bit.
- Try infused water. Add sliced lemon, strawberries, orange, or cucumber, etc into a water pitcher, fill with ice and water and leave in fridge overnight. Pour into your water bottle for some added flavor throughout the day.
- Try unsweetened ice tea with a slice of lemon to give you a different flavor without adding any sugar calories.
This summer as the temps start to rise, reach for that reusable body of water instead of iced coffee, pop or lemonade!
By Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
Registered Dietitian/Health Coach, Franciscan WELLCARE