Friday, April 24, 2009

What Is A Healthy Alternative to Water?

I have recently decided to quit drinking pop. In the past I would drink nothing but pop, consuming over 5 non-diet pops a day. It's been a week now, and things are going fine. I don't crave a pop, but I'm starting to hit a wall. I drink lots of water, but I don't enjoy it. I know water is great for you, and I have no problem drinking a decent amount of water a day, but I need more. I am wondering, what is a healthy alternative to water? Is there something out there that is flavored, or at least has a taste, that I could drink in addition to water?

Congratulations! I believe soda (especially when you have several a day) is one of the biggest wastes of calories you can ingest. I am so glad things are going fine for you. Water does get boring for many people when they first start drinking it several times a day.
For some people it's helpful to vary the temperature. Some enjoy it better when it's very cold, with or without ice.

And there are many great ways to flavor water. Once in a while, having a diet soda or a sugar-free flavor packet added to your water will give your taste buds some variety and isn't an excess. A better option if you are trying to avoid sugar-free products is to put a small amount of fruit juice in your water: a squeeze of lemon or lime, a few ounces of orange juice, or one of the multi-flavored juices that also counts as a serving of a fruit and a vegetable! (V-8 brand makes several and the one I have now is blueberry pomegranate. I mix it into seltzer water and it tastes like grape soda :)

There are lightly flavored seltzer waters in lemon lime, berry, etc made by Seagrams, Canada Dry, and other brands. They are carbonated but have NO sweetener, artificial or otherwise. It's important to check the labels because there are many "flavored water" beverages which often say "flavored", "all natural" or "zero calories" on the front label, but if you check the ingredients you find all sorts of things you don't want.

And, finally, my favorite .... tea! If you haven't checked the tea aisle lately you will be amazed to find hundreds of flavors of tea. Not just 'black' and 'green' or 'brewed' and 'steeped': but caramel, and apple, spiced cinnamon, and orange mango, licorice and rose petal, every fruit and flower you can imagine! You don't have to have it hot and you don't even have to have ever liked tea in your life. I dip a tea bag into a few ounces of warm-to-hot water until it changes color, and then pour it over ice cubes in a mug or plastic cup (don't use a glass unless you keep a metal spoon or knife in it while the temperature is changing, or the glass will shatter). Many of these teas are also decaffeinated in case you are sensitive to caffeine.

Don't think of flavoring your water as "cheating"... It still counts! You are still drinking all the water that is so vital for your body's best functioning--you are just flavoring it so you can enjoy it and keep drinking to your health!

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