15 Weeks of More
Week 3: Hydrate Well and Often
Week 3 - hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I know we are into fall and the weather is starting to cool off, but that doesn't mean we can skip on staying hydrated. But before we get into this important topic, take a minute to tell me about your experiences in weeks 1 and 2. Did you add more green to your plate? What was it like adding whole grains? Send me a message or an email to share your experience. I would love to hear from you.
Hydration is one of those confusing topics with an annoying answer..."it depends." I can't tell you how many times I've said "it depends" when talking to someone about how much water to drink. Luckily though, when it comes to the type of beverages we should be choosing, there isn't an "it depends" answer, so let's start there.
What Should I be Drinking?
Water. It really doesn't get much more simple than that, right? Our bodies are approximately 60% to 80% water. The range is due to variations in body composition (muscle versus fat). Water should be the primary beverage of choice, but this is isn't to say that we can't hydrate with other types of beverages. In fact, about 20% of your daily hydration comes from water in foods as well as beverages other than water, but as we move forward, remember that the number one focus should be on water.
Other beverages like diet drinks, sparkling water, sweetened beverages, sports drinks, coffee, and tea are also of consideration when we talk about hydration. I'll discuss a few below with additional details coming to the ANEWtrition blogthis week.
Diet drinks are those containing artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose. My recommendation for this is a perfect example of "it depends." The ultimate goal for diet drinks is to get to the point where they are not a part of your regular beverage intake. The American Heart Association recently made a recommendation specifically for diet drinks. (more here) The bottom line is water and beverages without artificial sweeteners should be the primary choice. If you're someone who drinks sugar-sweetened beverages regularly then moving to diet beverages is a good decision, but the ultimate goal should be to limit or avoid both categories altogether.
These have their place for people who are very active and/or for those exposed to extreme temperatures. However, sports drinks are not necessary for individuals exercising for less than an hour in non-extreme weather conditions. Sports drinks should also be limited in children for regular consumption due to their sugar content.
I'm excited to share a video this week on making a homemade sports beverage, so be sure to check my IGTV this week for more.
I wrote a recent article on this topic here. The bottom line? Coffee doesn't dehydrate you until you've had over 400mg caffeine, or about 4 cups. So, unless you're guzzling 4+ cups of coffee every day then you're most likely not causing dehydration first thing in the morning. This isn't to say you shouldn't also be drinking water! And more importantly, be sure to skip the added fat and sugar in your morning coffee. Those sugar grams, saturated fat grams, and total calories can really add up. I talk more about this on the blog, so head over and check it out.
This week's goal looks different depending on where you stand today. There are three choices:
If you currently drink sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, lemonade, energy drinks) regularly then your goal is to replace a minimum of FIVE sugar-sweetened beverages this week with diet beverages, unsweetened water or sparkling water.
If you currently drink diet beverages (any beverage with artificial sweeteners is a diet beverage) then your goal is to replace a minimum of FIVE diet beverages this week with unsweetened water or sparkling water.
If you don't drink sugar-sweetened beverages or diet beverages then your goal is to commit to using a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic bottle every day this week.
All three groups should also focus on adding hydrating fruits and vegetables to your diet. All fruits and vegetables contain water, but some have more than others. This list will get you started.
ANEWtrition Sparkling Water Favorites
Sparkling water is one of my favorite ways to stay hydrated and I've listed a few of my top choices below. I am not paid by any of these companies, I just love their products! Note: most of these products come in cans or plastic bottles. Please be sure to recycle if you do decide to purchase these products.
I will be on social with all things related to staying hydrated including a video on how to make your own sports drink. You can see more on Instagram @allisonknottrd or on Facebook on the ANEWtrition page.
New here? Check out the introduction to 15 Weeks of More, Week 1, and Week 2.
I'm looking forward to connecting with you!