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If your goal is to reduce the amount of processed foods you consume, and focus on eating real food, then you should also be drinking “real beverages.”

What exactly are real beverages?

  • Water

  • Milk 

  • Coffee

  • Tea

  • 100% Juice 

The following are NOT real beverages:

  • Soft drinks (diet and regular)

  • Energy drinks

  • Sports drinks

  • Juices that are not 100% juice

HYDRATION LOOKS GOOD ON YOU!

Water makes up approximately 60% of your body weight.  Every system in your body relies on it.  It flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for your ear, nose and throat.  Making sure you stay hydrated is important to your well being! 

So we know it's important, but how much exactly should we be drinking?  According to the Institute for Medicine, the adequate intake for men is 13 cups of fluids per day, and the adequate intake for women is 9 cups of fluids.  While it doesn't have to be water, drinking water is the simplest no calorie choice.  You may have heard the advice to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day, or "8 by 8 rule."  It's easy to remember and pretty close to the recommendations, so it's still a good goal! 

Click the photo above to access additional delicious ideas for fruit infused water!

Click the photo above to access additional delicious ideas for fruit infused water!

Getting More Water Into Your Diet

Here's some advice from Annie, one of our assistant managers and part of our leadership team at Choices, on how to get more water into your diet!

Staying hydrated is essential for the health of our bodies, but many of us find it difficult to be drinking water all of the time. If you’re looking to incorporate more water into your diet, but aren’t so sure you want to trade in that tasty latte or soft drink for bland water, try this.  Just add any of the following botanicals to your water glass. No need to add heat—simply add your ingredient to fresh, cool water and enjoy! I like to put my concoction in a large mason jar and pour it into my glass from there. It keeps the flavors melding :) Cheers to your health!

*RASPBERRIES

*STRAWBERRIES (I LOVE STRAWBERRIES BECAUSE OF THEIR HIGH VITAMIN C CONTENT. GETTING ENOUGH VITAMIN C IN THE DIET AND KEEPING YOURSELF HYDRATED ARE TWO THINGS THAT ARE GREAT FOR HEATHY SKIN!)

*MINT LEAVES

*LIME WEDGE

*GRAPEFRUIT

*SLICED LEMON

*CUCUMBER (BONUS TIP: TRY USING CUCUMBER-INFUSED WATER AS A REFRESHING FACIAL MIST. JUST POUR YOUR COOL INFUSION INTO A SPRAY BOTTLE—AURA CACIA MAKES A GREAT ONE FOR THIS-- AND STORE IN THE FRIDGE. THIS IS ESPECIALLY WONDERFUL IN THE WARM SUMMER MONTHS, BUT IT FEELS LIKE A MINI SPA TREATMENT ANY TIME!)

*WATERMELON

*HIBISCUS PETALS

*GET CREATIVE!* TRY MIXING AND MATCHING DIFFERENT FRUIT AND HERBAL COMBINATIONS. STRAWBERRIES AND BASIL GO GREAT TOGETHER, OR TRY LIME WITH MINT FOR THAT SUMMER MOJITO VIBE.

YUMMMM…. I FEEL MORE REFRESHED ALREADY! :)

Cheers to your health!

Other Real Beverages

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Milk

Milk is a natural, healthy choice to replace vitamin waters, sports drinks and other artificially created drinks that are often full of added sugar.  Milk delivers calcium, vitamin D, phosphorous and a balance of other nutrients that have been proven to build your bones and teeth as well as promote the healthy function of your muscles and blood vessels. It is 90% water and provides lots of nutrition for 80-100 calories per cup.  Organic milk from grass-fed cows is known to have higher levels of healthy fats and other vitamins, plus it comes from cows that have not been given hormones or antibiotics.  If it's in your budget, organic makes sense.

Read more:  https://www.healthline.com/health/is-milk-bad-for-you#takeaway

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100% Juice

Drinking 100% juice is another way of increasing your fluid intake. And since studies show that Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables,it's good to know that  drinking juice (4 ounces) will provide  one (1/2 cup) serving of fruit/vegetables.   But, also keep in mind, that although there are no added sugars in 100% juices, they can be high in natural sugars.The best juice is made at home using a juicer, but there are excellent 100% juices available for purchase as well. 

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Coffee & Tea

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GIVE UP COFFEE AND TEA! 

These beverages provide antioxidants.  Antioxidants are phytochemicals that protect healthy tissue from free radicals that can damage cells and cause disease.  Coffee is one of the most heavily pesticide sprayed crops, so organic is the healthiest option.  To maximize the health benefits of drinking tea, you may want to consider opting for green tea.  The holistic benefits may include  heart health, type 2 diabetes, weight loss, reduced inflammation, as well as bone and vision health.  You can read more here, including data sources from Mercola.com. 

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Kombucha

Kombucha, which is a fermented tea beverage, delivers probiotics, which are good for gut health, as well as some B vitamins.  Technically, this is a more processed beverage that includes some added sugar used in the fermentation process.  Since it is not a single ingredient, simple beverage—it technically does not qualify as a “real beverage” but is definitely an improvement over soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks.

If you are not familiar with kombucha, it is a drink that starts with either black or green tea and specific strains of bacteria and yeast  (SCOBY: living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) are added along with some sugar.  It is fermented for a week or more.  During fermentation, trace levels of alcohol and gases are produced that make it carbonated   Probiotic bacteria are also produced through this process.  There are usually other flavorings added (fruits, vegetables, turmeric, ginger) that make it a unique hydrating option.  At Choices, we carry a variety of bottled brands, as well as kombucha on tap.  

Just ask a team member if you’re interested in tasting our tap kombucha from Arize.  And we also occasionally have tastings during our Sample Saturdays.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea#section8

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Enough said! 

Staying hydrated is essential for the health of our bodies. 

Water is the simplest, zero calorie,  all-natural option!

END THE SODA HABIT NOW.

CLICK HERE FOR MY BLOG POST ABOUT SUGAR AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.

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