I get it.
If water tasted like soda, beer, or champagne, consuming eight glasses a day wouldn't be a problem for most of us.
But until someone figures out a way to make that happen, here are some useful tips from the Southeast Michigan American Heart Association on what we can do to bump up our H20 intake.
Know what you're drinking
Read those ingredients. Beverages, like energy drinks, can be deceiving because they advertise that they are healthy but usually are loaded with calories and sugar. Common forms of added sugars are sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrups, concentrated fruit juice and honey. Also, look at the label carefully as many drinks provide more than one serving, which can double or triple your sugar consumption.
Cut back slowly
If you consume sugary drinks on a regular basis, start by cutting out one of those drinks a day. A week later, drink two less a day. Continue until you’ve cut out nearly all the sweetened teas, soda, and other drinks from your daily routine. (I know, I know, this may take a minute; remember Rome wasn't built in a day).
Work up to water
Here's how to approach this challenge if you're not a big fan of water:
- Carry a refillable water bottle or have a permanent glass at your office desk.
- Add slices of oranges, lemons or even cucumbers for an added boost of flavor.
- Try seltzers or sparking water with a splash of 100% fruit juice.
- Join the juicing trend. You may have seen infomercials for juicers or read articles about the benefits of making and drinking your own fruit and vegetable juices.
Try to limit your juice intake
The calories from juices can add up quickly. For example: ½ cup (4 ounces) serving of 100% orange juice contains 60 calories and a ½ cup of 100% grape juice has 76 calories.
Sip a smoothie
When you are in the mood for a milkshake or want an afternoon snack, keep on the heart healthy track with a budget-friendly homemade fruit smoothie! Blend ½ cup frozen fruit with no added sugars, ½ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt with no added sugars and ½ cup fat free milk. If you don’t have a blender, mix small pieces of fresh fruit with yogurt and milk, then freeze for an hour. Experiment with different fruit combinations like mango-pineapple or strawberry-blueberry.
Here's another resource: Check out the American Heart Association's My Life Check. It's a simple tool that let's you know where you stand on your road to good health.
C'mon. It's the New Year.
You can do this.