Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Hot, I'm Thirsty, What Can I Drink?

The weather has been quite nice here in MN the past two days. Great for getting outside and being active. So what should I drink to quench my thirst after a run, a bike ride or working in my gardens?

The most recent national nutrition survey found that sugar-sweetened sodas are the single largest source of calories in the American diet: 7.1 percent. OK, I'm not a big soda drinker. What else?

Flavored bottled waters may seem healthy. But the calories of sugar, when consumed in place of plain water, can increase your weight by 15 pounds in a year,(YIKES). Better to get your antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, which come packaged with valuable nutrients. I do eats lots of fruits and veggies but I'm still thirsty.

How about Green tea? I've heard that's good for you. Scientific evidence certainly suggests that, with antioxidants and about 40 milligrams of caffeine in each cup, it can boost metabolism, among other health benefits. But those research findings were based on plain green tea, with perhaps a teaspoon (16 calories) of sugar. Lots of the teas you find in the super-market are loaded with calories and sugar. Read the labels.

How about bottled water? We are now paying a lot of money for a drink we used to get free.(nearly 30 gallons per capita a year). By drinking plain, old water from the tap you can reduce our dependence on oil (plastic water bottles are petroleum-based) and the pressure on landfills. No calories, no sugar. You can always filter your water if you need to.

I guess I'll stick to filling my BPA free water bottle with water from my tap. Add a few ice cubes, and maybe some fruit and it is still the best thirst quencher. I've added lemon to my water but I've seen others add grapes, peaches and orange slices. All sound good.

For more information check out this article "In Summer's Heat, Watch What You Drink" (New York Times) http://ow.ly/24VDV
Remember it's important to stay hydrated!
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