Americans need to kick the can. The soda can, that is. According to WebMD, about one in five Americans drink at least one sugary beverage every day. That might not seem too bad, but each 12-ounce can contains nine to 12 teaspoons of sugar. Upgrade to a 20-ounce bottle, and it’s even worse. Skip the sweet stuff and focus your efforts on water instead.
While it might not pack the flavor of soft drinks, water is one of life’s building blocks and accounts for two-thirds of our body weight. Water, not juice or soda. The Washington Post explained sweetened beverages slow the body’s ability to absorb water and can actually increase the amount we need to quench our thirst.
Drinking enough water is important because it keeps the body functioning properly. John Batson, a sports medicine doctor, told The American Heart Association, “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.”
That means blood can circulate more easily and keep you feeling great. And it’s not just important for athletes. Shape writes that even mild dehydration can negatively impact mood and energy levels. But if drinking water isn’t a part of your regular routine, we’ve got some great tips to help you out.
1. Add some flavor
For people who are used to swigging flavored beverages throughout the day, the switch to water can be a little bland. There are plenty of products on the market designed to make H2O exciting, but going for something natural is a better bet. Women’s Health suggested adding fruit slices and letting the mixture sit for a few hours to concentrate the flavor. Using fruit and herbs instead of artificial flavorings also means you’ll save a couple of bucks.
And don’t limit yourself to lemon. Everyday Health has some suggestions to get you guzzling more of the good stuff in no time. Once you run through these ideas, you’ll find the possibilities are endless. We love ginger with mint.