Lucky for us, in America water is free just about anywhere you go. Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages will not only help your wallet but could help to improve your health.
Although there are currently no set requirements for water consumption, the Food and Nutrition Board recommends that the average women consume 91 ounces daily (about 11 cups) and men consume 125 ounces daily (about 15 cups). (Certain groups may require higher intake levels, check with your doctor for more information).
This may seem unattainable to some but don’t worry, typically 20% of this amount is consumed within the foods you eat. With this in mind, women should aim to drink 8 cups of water-based beverages daily and men, 12 cups. If this still seems like a daunting task, below are some tips to include healthy drinks into your daily routine.
- Reusable water bottles can be a good way to encourage water consumption.
Tip: Look for a 16-ounce water bottle and every refill counts as 2 cups!
- Infuse your water with your favorite fruits and herbs. See the recipe below to get you started.
Tip: Freeze fruits when they are in season, and usually a great deal. Once you need them they can serve to flavor your water and help keep it cold!
- Soda-lover? Try switching to seltzer water or club soda. Look in your grocery store for calorie-free, carbonated drinks, available in a variety of flavors.
Tip: Most restaurants have club soda available on draft, just ask!
- Attention caffeine-lovers: coffee and tea count towards your daily intake as well! Take it easy on the cream and sugar and these drinks can be a healthy way to reach your recommendations.
Tip: As a Northern originally, I am allowed to say that tea does not always have to be sweet…sorry! Try different flavors and make it hot or iced. My new favorite is honey vanilla chamomile!
Strawberry Mint Water:
-1/2 Cup frozen strawberries
-1/4 Cup fresh mint
-8 ounces water
-Combine all ingredients in a cup or water bottle.
Megan is the Adult EFNEP Program Assistant in Orange County Cooperative Extension.