Are you giving your boot camp workouts your all every morning and then grabbing an iced coffee? Are you taking the kids to the park and packing juice boxes? Are you heading out for your evening run and following it up with a sweet vitamin drink?
Unfortunately, how you hydrate could be sabotaging your fitness goals. Your favourite “healthy” beverages might actually be packing more of a calorie punch than you think, adding back those calories you’ve slaved away to burn AND derailing your health goals.
The average North American consumes 6% of their daily calories in the form of added sugars in beverages...that’s about 150 calories per day. 150 calories you could avoid by trying a still-satisfying, delicious alternate to iced tea, sports drinks, and sweetened coffee drinks.
Despite our love for sugary, cold beverages, we are chronically dehydrated - with most of us consuming only five glasses of water per day, on average. The Dietitians of Canada recommend we drink between 2.2-3 L of fluids per day. No surprise, they also recommend we choose water over pop, sport drinks, or fruit drinks due to the amount of added sugar and empty calories.
In my years of coaching, I’ve learned that many poor nutrition choices can stem from a lack of information and it's easy to understand why. Nowadays, consumers can be mislead to believe drinks have a healthy component when there is a huge push to talk up miniscule benefits in an otherwise poor beverage choice.
Let’s look at some “healthy” (and even some not-so-healthy) beverages - because you may be surprised at what you’re really consuming;
What if we replaced these drinks with something our bodies actually need every day, like water? For some, water is an acquired taste, but luckily there are some really great ways around that obstacle! In fact, when surveyed, dehydrated Canadians admit they'd drink more water if it were somehow more “fun” or tasted better.
Last summer I bought a SodaStream (water, meet fun!). I was tired of spending $2-3 for a single bottle of sparkling water. I was pregnant. It was hot. I couldn’t have a frosty beer every time the urge hit. I loved it - and not only because sparkling water just feels special. It’s a treat. It feels like luxury. As my son says, it’s “growmup" water. Having a SodaStream at home allows me to turn ordinary tap water into fresh sparkling water in seconds and paid for itself in only one month. There was no longer a need to purchase sparkling water every day. And when I really want “growmup" water I have calorie-free sparkling water to mix with tequila or gin when friends and family come over.
Plus, I actually drink more water now. I used to pack one bottle of water every morning when I left the house to keep me hydrated and get me through my busy day. Every day, I ran out of water. I am one thirsty lady. Now I now leave the house with TWO bottles of water every morning; one bottle of plain tap water for sipping when I'm parched or work out, and another with sparkling water, sometimes with a bit of flavour (more about that below) for later in the day.
You can turn your SodaStream sparkling water into all kinds of fruity, herbaceous, infused waters. Try some, (or all!) of the following:
Sparkling Spa Water
Add cucumber, mint, basil, strawberries, lemon, lime, oranges, raspberries, or even watermelon to your sparkling water. Maybe ditch the fluffy spa robe. The neighbours will think you've gone off the deep end.
Refreshing Calorie Free Flavoured Water
A splash of fresh juice will keep your calories and sugar to a minimum and help you down more water in a day if you really crave the sweet stuff. I love adding just a tiny bit of the SodaStream FREE Lemonade flavour with my sparkling water and a squeeze of fresh lemon - it's delicious but tastes natural and not too sweet.
Surprise Berry Cubes
If you’re outside and trying to keep your beverage cool, it’s super simple and fun to freeze berries and herbs in a tray of ice cubes just for your SodaStream water. The cubes will keep your water chilled while you watch the kids play and slowly infuse your beverage without stewing in the sun.
We know we're supposed to drink more water to stay healthy, quench thirst, and keep your skin and body hydrated - and now we can do it while saving ourselves the empty calories!