Renell Cronk, RDN, LDN
Next time you reach for a beverage to quench your thirst, give it a good once over first. It might be a little shocking, but the average American consumes approximately 400 calories per day from sugary drinks. This adds up to a whopping 146,000 calories per year. To put that in perspective, an average runner would need to log somewhere around 1,400 miles just to burn those calories! If we were to convert this to pounds, that would equal 49 pounds; probably more than your New Year’s resolution weight loss goals.
One simple method to accelerate weight loss is to eliminate sugary beverages completely from your daily diet and replace it with…that’s right….WATER. Water not only supports a healthy weight, it is necessary for you to survive. Just think about it; your body weight is approximately 60 percent water. But why does your body need so much water? Below are a few examples of what water does for your body:
- Regulates your body temperature
- Keeps tissues, like those in your mouth, moist
- Maintains organ and brain function
- Protects your joints and spinal cord
- Aids in digestion
- Removes waste and toxins from the body
- Aids in exercise recovery
- Produces a youthful appearance
- Strengthens the immune system
- Keeps you hydrated
How much water do you need?
There is no magical answer to that question. It largely depends on your lifestyle and health. Factors may include your current health status, weight/height, activity level, weather climate, caffeine/alcohol intake and many others. However, a good rule of thumb is to consume a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily; but pay attention to your body. If you’re thirsty, drink more! If your urine is not a clear/light yellow drink more! If you sweat a lot, drink more! If your lips are dry, drink more! Some people even experience headaches due to inadequate water consumption.
Building the habit of consuming adequate amounts of water daily can be difficult, but here are some tips:
- Track your daily water intake. A great app for this is My Water Balance (Download it for Apple or Android
- Carry a water bottle everywhere you go. I recommend the Hydro Flask water bottle
- Or my favorite, sass it up with “Sassy Water”
Infused water — or what I like to call “Sassy Water” — is a tasty option for those who are bored of plain water and is great hydrating alternative to sugary beverages.
How to Make Sassy Water:
- Pick a fruit and/or citrus
- Pick an herb/veggie
- Once you’ve chosen your ingredients, wash them thoroughly
- Muddle ingredients in the drink container to release more flavor
- Pour water over muddled ingredients and mix/shake together
Here are some of my favorite flavor combinations:
- Strawberry, Lime, Cucumber
- Watermelon, Lemon, Ginger
- Blackberry, Orange, Mint
- Grapefruit, Rosemary
- Blueberry, Lavender
- Strawberry, Lemon, Basil
- Grapefruit, Orange, Cucumber
- Raspberry, Rose petal
- Blueberry, Cucumber
Click the image below to download a printable water tracker from Nicholson Clinic!
About the Author
Renell Cronk is a Registered Dietitian with PsyMed, Inc. She helps educate and prepare Nicholson Clinic patients before and after surgery with meal planning, recipe ideas, nutrition education and more. Nothing gives Renell a greater feeling of accomplishment and joy than helping individuals achieve their health, lifestyle and nutrition goals.