January 15, 2015

How to drink more water. (Seriously.)

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.

Baby steps.

You can do this.
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  1. I don't drink anything but water (and of course wine!) and I STILL have a problem staying hydrated...especially in the winter!!

    1. ROTFLMAO, yes, Allie! YES. Although, I do concede to drinking coffee, too, water is my primary beverage during the day, and I am never drinking enough, it seems.


      Especially in the winter. Word.

      Thanks for commenting, Allie. We feel each other's pain. :-/


  2. I drink a lot of water now after finding out I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I haven't drank soda in years but my downfall is juice, I'm trying to cut down on that now. Great post Courtney! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Louida! Yeah, I hear ya with the juice temptation. I usually drink coffee and water daily -- and that's it. But I do like a good juice now and then. (It was forbidden to drink soda when I was growing up -- a parental rule I loathed back then, but now I thoroughly appreciate because I have zero taste for soda!)

      You guys have a great weekend as well!