Health & Wellbeing
Make Water Fun
Carrie Gerencher MA, RDN, LDN
Carrie Gerencher MA, RDN, LDN
Clinical Nutrition Manager Lehigh University

Water is essential to life, but it doesn’t have be boring. Lemons give your water some zing, but you can create more excitement for your taste buds with these boosts.

– Seltzer (carbonated) water

– Green tea

– Coconut water

– Infusion water with fruit, honey, lime, cucumber, mint, basil, ginger, etc.

– A little splash of juice such as pomegranate or acai adds health benefits and flavor to water

If you want to get fancy, here are some flavor-packed combos.

– Honeydew ginger

– Lemon basil

– Orange pineapple (use the pineapple cores to infuse your water and decrease your carbon footprint)

– Watermelon mint

– Pear cinnamon ginger (use a cinnamon stick and grated ginger)

Think Beyond Beverages

We don’t have to get all our water from beverages. The Institute of Medicine recommends women get 91 ounces (11.4 cups) of total water — from all beverages and foods — each day, and men an average of 125 ounces (15.6 cups) daily.1 It is estimated that about 22% of water comes from our food, such as fruits and vegetables.2 There are many hydrating foods out there. With the word water in its name, the most obvious one is watermelon. Other foods with high water contents include tomatoes, oranges, cucumbers, yogurt, soup, milk, tea, and even strawberries. Out of all the berries, strawberries are the best source comprised of 91% water and are a good source of antioxidants. In fact, they are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving — about eight strawberries — provides more vitamin C than an orange.3 Tomatoes are also loaded with vitamin C, lycopene (an antioxidant), and are surprisingly comprised of 95% water, where oranges are a good source of vitamin C and are 87% water.

Rethinking Drinks

Water should be the drink of choice. As plain drinking water has zero calories, it can also help with managing body weight and reducing caloric intake when substituted for drinks with calories, like regular soda.4 If you do need your favorite drink every once in a while, try downsizing, choosing low-fat or fat-free milk, or skipping the whipped cream.

Reminders

Remember that when it’s cold outside, drinking water is important too. Your body needs more water when you are

– In hot climates

– More physically active

– Running a fever

– Having diarrhea or vomiting5

If you have difficulty remembering to drink water, set an alarm every hour to keep hydration at the forefront of your mind and carry a BPA-free reusable water bottle with you to remind yourself to take a few sips.

References

  1. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/nutritional-benefits-of-the-strawberry
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.html
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html

 

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