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Healthy Drinks: What You Should Drink to Stay Fit

Water is an important part of daily life. It hydrates your body and delivers essential minerals. Naturally, it’s the healthiest fluid you can have, but are there any healthy drinks other than water? Here, Flo examines the selection of healthy drinks currently on the market. 

Water forms the building blocks of all cells in the human body, making up approximately 60 percent of your tissues, blood, skin, and organs. Drinking water is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle and keeping your body in optimal condition.

As far as drinks that are good for you, water simply can’t be beat. Its numerous health benefits include:

  • Regulating your body temperature
  • Allowing your system to rid itself of waste through urination, defecation, and perspiration
  • Lubricating your joints 
  • Replenishing and growing new cells
  • Optimizing brain function through neurotransmission and hormone production
  • Providing a shock-absorbing cushion for your central nervous system

A lot of people may disagree about the exact amount of water you should drink each day, as our needs differ depending on our body type, how active we are, our diets and other health factors. There’s no specific measurement that will fit all people, but the average adult female should consume 2.3 quarts (or 2.2 liters) of water per day.

When your body’s not getting enough water, it’ll start to show signs of dehydration, such as fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, and dark urine.

Primary sources of water include filtered tap water, bottled water, and even the foods that you eat. Soups, as well as fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, celery, and melons, contain a great deal of fluids. 

When your body’s not getting enough water, it’ll start to show signs of dehydration, such as fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, and dark urine. 

Stay hydrated throughout the day by carrying a water bottle on-the-go, and storing a large carafe of water on hand at work or home. Keep things interesting by infusing your water with fruit or veggie slices. Try fresh lemons, cucumbers, berries, or a sprig of mint or rosemary.

Stay hydrated throughout the day by carrying a water bottle on-the-go, and storing a large carafe of water on hand at work or home.

It’s important to drink water from an uncontaminated source. However, not all filtration systems draw out naturally-occurring contaminants like lead, arsenic, or radon. Furthermore, water sources may be exposed to fertilizers and pesticides which aren’t eliminated by the filtration process. Consumption of these chemicals may lead to serious conditions. This is especially true for pregnant women, the young and elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems. 

Check with local authorities regarding water quality in your area to determine if you need additional filtration or should switch to bottled water.

There are in fact other healthy drinks besides water you can enjoy in moderation. When shopping for healthy beverages, select ones that supply the most vitamins or minerals with the lowest amount of sugar or calories. 

Milk and fortified non-dairy beverages like cashew, soy, and almond milk represent a good source of calcium. They also contain other proteins and minerals to maintain strong teeth and bones. Be sure to choose low-fat, reduced fat, skim, and/or unsweetened milk as one of your go-to healthy drinks.

Produced from raw fruits and vegetables, smoothies and pressed juices are another option for healthy drinks to make at home. They, too, supply key vitamins, nutrients, and minerals for a healthy diet, not to mention water. 

Remember that fruit-based beverages tend to be high in calories due to naturally-occurring sugars. Rely on them for just one of your 5 to 10 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables per day. 

Unsweetened fruit and herbal teas may sustain or even improve your overall well-being. A cup of black tea or coffee offers a quick boost of energy to get you through the day, as does kombucha tea. Kombucha is a fermented tea with specific probiotic benefits. 

Just remember that caffeinated drinks cause you to urinate more frequently. So be sure to supplement with water if you’re peeing a lot.

Lastly, when selecting healthy drinks besides water, use the traffic light rule of thumb: 

  • Green means go: Green-hued drinks like veggie-based smoothies, celery juice, or green tea should be your number one pick. 
  • Yellow means slow: 100 percent orange juice, skim or plant-based milk, and low-calorie sports drinks ought to be enjoyed in moderation. 
  • Red means stop: Avoid heavily sweetened, reddish-colored beverages like fruity cocktails or soda as much as possible.

Generally speaking, experts agree that beverages high in calories or that contain artificial sweeteners seem to be the least healthy drinks. 

Steer clear of these to lower your chances for developing diabetes, excessive weight gain, and tooth decay.

  • Soda, flavored water, and juice drinks with added sugar contain very few nutrients and pack a lot of calories. 
  • Energy drinks with added caffeine and sugar usually include other stimulants that disrupt your sleep and raise heart rate and blood pressure. 
  • Sports drinks might sound like healthy bottled drinks, but they’re designed for high-performance athletes to replenish electrolytes. They’ll typically have a much higher caloric content than the average person needs. 
  • Alcoholic beverages, when consumed in excess, could lead to poisoning and may increase risk of such serious illnesses like cancer, liver disease, and stroke.

If you tend to drink a lot of sugary, caffeinated beverages, you can make small changes each day and eventually replace them with healthy drinks. Even eliminating one can of soda per day, in favor of water, saves approximately 240 calories. 

Clean drinking water is undoubtedly the healthiest drink available. However, if you’re looking for other healthy drinks to buy or make, choose unsweetened, low-fat milk, herbal teas, and raw fruit/vegetable juices or smoothies. Don’t overindulge on sugary drinks, or coffee and alcohol to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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