“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues” – Kevin R. Stone, MD
It is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and the results are nothing short of negative. The effects of dehydration include decreased cognitive function, poor gastrointestinal function, dull complexion, coronary heart disease, colon cancer and bladder cancer.
Unfortunately, instead of reaching for pure water, people are reaching for sugar-filled beverages like soda. In fact, the average American consumes 44.7 gallons of soda per year! Needless to say… that’s 375 lbs of refined sugar, artificial colors, flavorings and more.
Based on that alone, it should be no surprise that we as Americans are leading the world when it comes to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The take-away? It doesn’t have to be this way.
As a society, we’ve been trained to believe that a meal is incomplete without a sugary beverage to accompany it. And whether you regularly consume soda, juice or coffee, the reality is: it is unnecessary. Water intake however, is necessary.
It is important to note:
It’s not about the calories, it’s about the nutritional content.
Often, we are too eager to reach for the “diet” and “sugar-free” options without fully understanding what those labels truly mean. Replacing real sugar with an artificial sweetener may give you less calories, but you’ll end up with the same health problems.
This past week, a study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, presenting research that showed a direct link between artificial sweeteners and obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
The Solution? Change your Habits
I have found that the easiest way for me to cut back on my refined sugar and caloric intake has been to simply drink water. If this means springing for sparkling water along the way to keep it “exciting”, then so be it. Simplifying my fridge, while cutting back on my soda and juice habit, has not only saved me money, but it has also spared my waistline.
What’s wrong with fruit juice?
Let’s take a look at Welch’s, a staple American fruit juice company, and see what consuming their basic grape juice will do for you.
Their label advertises their juice as an “excellent source of Vitamin C” and claims it is “Made with Real Fruit Juice for Great Flavor*”.
Unless you follow up on that asterisk, you wouldn’t know that the fine print reveals that it only contains 25% fruit juice! What’s in the other 75%? Who knows.
Looking further into their claim that their juice is an “excellent source of Vitamin C”, you’ll be surprised to find that an entire glass of juice only covers 20% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Excellent? I beg to differ.
You know what would give you more Vitamin C than that? One yellow bell pepper.
One yellow bell pepper will provide you with 568% of your daily value of Vitamin C.
Yes, you have read that correctly. You can get all the Vitamin C you need and more, by eating just one yellow pepper, and might I add… without the 36 grams of sugar that you’ll find in a glass of grape juice.
So, let’s talk about water. What are the benefits?
The Benefits of Consuming Water
The best part about drinking water is that there are no added calories & no artificial elements. It saves you money, while contributing to your health along the way.
Here are just a few benefits of making water your staple beverage:
– Clearer Skin
– Increased Metabolism
– Increased Energy
– Reduced Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
– Less Bloat
And if you feel like plain old water just doesn’t cut it for you, easily transition from sugary beverages by making your own infused water with nutrient-rich fruits and herbs. Not only will this satisfy your taste buds, but it will help you maximize your nutrient intake while further increasing the benefits of drinking water.
Who wouldn’t want to upgrade to that?
If you’re a busy-body looking to do a quick infusion, selecting fruits like lemon, vegetables like cucumbers, and herbs like mint, will infuse great taste into your water nearly instantaneously.
The added benefits? Priceless…
Lemon: Immune boosting, Detoxifying, Great for digestion
Cucumber: Hydrating, Anti-Inflammatory, Alkalizing
Mint: Stimulating, Soothing, Great for digestion
Ginger: Anti- Inflammatory, Antioxidative, Anti- Bacterial
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