Hydrate For Health

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Hydrate For Health

By Alyssa Slater, Dietetic Intern from Purdue University

FruitAndWaterYou may not realize how many calories you are consuming from your drink. One can of soda has about 140 calories and a large fountain soda has about 365 calories! A large sweet tea from a fast food restaurant can amount to 230 calories! So what can you do to reduce calories from beverages? Water is always a great option. It is the best beverage to keep you hydrated, which is beneficial for your skin, gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and overall health, and it contains zero calories. Other beverages that can be part of a healthy diet include low-fat or fat-free milk, a small glass (6oz.) of 100% fruit juice, and fruit-infused water.

Try to make simple drink swaps to reduce calories including:

  • Large coffee with whole milk – small coffee with 1% or skim milk
  • Regular soda– diet soda or flavored water
  • Sweet tea – unsweet tea or half sweet and half unsweet
  • Lemonade – water with lemon

Become more aware of what is in your beverages by reading the nutrition facts label to find the amount of calories in each serving. Also, look at the ingredients list to see if your beverage has added sweeteners which will contribute to the calorie amount. Look for words such as high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, syrup, sucrose, or dextrose, and limit these beverages. By switching to lower-calorie drinks, you will often reduce the amount of added sugars in your beverage which can lead to a lower overall caloric intake to promote weight loss and a healthier lifestyle!

Check out these refreshing infused water recipes:

Orange Mint Water

  • 3 large oranges, sliced
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 half gallon of water

Place mint and orange slices in a pitcher and add water. Allow flavors to blend at least two hours in the refrigerator. Pour in glasses over ice and serve garnished with an orange slice and a sprig of mint.

Cucumber Melon Water

  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 honeydew melon, cubed
  • 1/4 cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1 half gallon of water

Place melon and cucumber in a pitcher and add water. Allow flavors to blend at least two hours and then serve in glasses over ice.

Frozen Fruit Water

  • 2 cups frozen apple chunks, mangos, pineapple, or berries
  • 1 half gallon of water

Add frozen fruit to a pitcher. Pour water over fruit and let sit at least an hour in the refrigerator. Stir to distribute fruit flavor and serve in glasses over ice.

Note: you can chop up the same kind of fruit, unfrozen, and follow same directions. You will need to use more ice when serving the unfrozen fruit-flavored water.

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