Make water your beverage of choice
Most of us know that it is important to stay hydrated, but water also provides many health benefits for our bodies.
Thirst comes naturally during the warmer days of spring and summer, but it’s just as important to stay hydrated during the colder months of fall and winter! Water is considered the best beverage of choice because it’s not only easy to acquire and relatively inexpensive, it’s also free of calories!
Why is water so good for our bodies? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information:
- Regulate a normal body temperature
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
- Get rid of waste through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
How do you know if you’re getting enough water? The USDA’s Choose My Plate recommends that you let your thirst be your guide. Although water is an important nutrient, everyone’s needs are different based on various factors such as diet, activity level and age. However, if you are physically active, live-work-play in a hot environment, or are an older adult, you may want to increase your water intake to help prevent dehydration.
The CDC provides the following tips for increasing your water intake:
- Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are at work or running errands.
- Freeze water in freezer safe water bottles (BPA free, crack resistant, seals tight, etc.). Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
- Choose water instead of sugar sweetened beverages. Substituting water for one 20 ounce sugar sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.
- Choose water when eating out – it will save you money and reduce calories.
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.
Research, along with regulatory requirements for tap water, supports Americans with clean, safe drinking water. If you are concerned about the safety of your tap water, Michigan State University Extension recommends contacting your local Health Department to have your water tested. Phone numbers for your local, county or state health department are available under the “health” or “government” listings in your phone book.