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Beneficial Beverages

Timeless Nutrition Tips...

Unlike other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, your body does not store extra fluids for the possibility of becoming dehydrated. To replace these precious stores, drink 8 to 12 cups of fluids each day. During any season of the year, it is important to drink enough water to keep our bodies hydrated, however, warm weather makes it crucial.

Beneficial Beverages

Did you know? The average person loses about ten cups of water throughout the day from normal bodily functions.

  • More than a cup of water dissipates through our breath every day.
  • We lose several cups of water in our urine daily.
  • On hot days we lose cup after cup in sweat.
  • We can live a month or longer without food, but only a few days to two weeks maximum, without water.

Knowing all this, one can see why our bodies need water on a daily basis. The kidney's use water to flush toxins, our eyes see more clearly when covered with a watery substance, our joints are like hinges that need to be oiled with water daily and we all know how our skin can dry out and crack when it isn't plumped up with water. Water also contains important minerals and is by far the most economical drink and the most beneficial. Bottled water is good, too, but shouldn't be the only water you drink, as you deprive yourself of the minerals and such you get with tap water. So, go - have a big glass of water and think of all the rewards your body will reap!

Should You Break the Bottled Water Habit?

A report throws cold water onto the notion that bottled water is among safe, beneficial beverages. This comes at a time when Americans are drinking twice as much bottled water as they did 10 years ago. The latest statistics show that Americans guzzled a grand total of nine billion gallons of bottled water last year.

Contaminants in Bottled Water

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a study that tested 10 brands of bottled water. The results were disturbing. They found an alarming 38 contaminants. Low levels of some of these substances might occasionally be found in tap water; however, our water utilities are required by law to notify customers when contaminants show up. These are in the form of water quality reports they must send out every July 1. Bottled water companies have no such requirement.

As a result of their study, EWG is now strongly urging consumers to toss the bottled water and turn on the tap instead. Not only is tap water less likely to be contaminated, it’s better for the environment and much less expensive.

Carrying your own reusable bottle filled with tap water is the perfect solution to landfills and to your pocketbook.

Note: Wash your bottle every day with hot soapy water to prevent it from becoming a medium for microorganism growth.

In summary; save money, avoid contaminants and all for just a tiny bit of effort. It will be well worth it. Bottoms-up!

Why Is Water So Important?

The following information puts a whole new light on the necessary and healthy practice of drinking water daily.

Water Facts

Pitcher of water

  • 85 percent of your brain is water.
  • The human body is nearly 70 percent water. Every organ from your brain to your heart to your liver is a spongy, water-filled mass fed by red, watery blood carrying dissolved sugar, minerals, gases and hormones.
  • Water is known as a universal solvent because so many things can dissolve in it - sugar in coffee, salt in soup, bubble bath in your bath water and physiologically, oxygen in your blood.
  • The waste that is filtered through our kidneys is dissolved in water.
  • If we cannot have water, we will be poisoned.
  • Water keeps us from over-heating by seeing through our pores in sweat.
  • The lungs, eyes, joints and skin all need to remain damp with water.
  • Each muscle in our bodies consists of nearly 80 percent water, including our hearts.

Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine is found naturally in the leaves and fruit of more than 60 plants, including coffee beans, cocoa beans, kola nuts and tea leaves. This adds it to the list of beneficial beverages.

Caffeine depletes our bodies of fluid rather than replacing it, so you may want to avoid caffeinated beverages, especially in warm weather.

Contrary to popular belief, caffeine has not been linked to causing hypertension or to sustained elevations in blood pressure. However, individuals with high blood pressure may wish to discuss caffeine consumption with their doctor. Most experts consider moderate consumption of caffeine to be up to 300mg daily - the amount contained in 2 to 3 cups of coffee or five to six cans of caffeine containing soft drinks.

Caffeine Content of Some Favorite Beverages & Foods

Caffeine and Coffee

  • Coca-Cola, 8 ounce serving, 23mg
  • Diet Coke, 8 ounce serving 31mg
  • Coffee, drip-brewed, 8 ounce cup - Range of 65-120, 85 typical
  • Coffee, instant, 8 ounce cup - Range of 60-85, 75 typical
  • Iced Tea, 8 ounce glass - Range of 9-50, 25 typical
  • Cocoa, 8 ounce serving - 3-32mg, 6 typical
  • Milk chocolate, 1 ounce - 1-15mg, 6 typical
  • Dark chocolate, 1 ounce - 5-35mg, 20 typical
  • Baker's chocolate, 1 ounce - 26mg

Upside: Caffeine and Depression

Recent research indicates that drinking coffee may lower the incidence of depression in older women. The Depression study, which included 50,000 women with an average age of 63, found that women who drink four 8-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee daily are 20 percent less likely to become depressed than women who rarely drank coffee. The researchers suggest that one possible explanation for caffeine's role in lowering depression is that caffeine appears to protect the brain against certain neurotoxins that interfere with the release of chemicals related to mood.

In addition, caffeine is a psychoactive drug that works sort of like a harmless crack cocaine, increasing dopamine and serotonin transmission within just 30 minutes.

Did You Know?

In 1923, Sanka was introduced. In 1939, the first instant coffee was born. It was Nescafe.

Soda Addict?

If you're a soda addict and know you should get more water but you just find it too bland and boring, here are some suggestions - give one or more a try at least! You might be pleasantly surprised.

  • Add fresh fruit to your water. Literally; just drop washed fruit into your glass of water. (Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, watermelon, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, etc.)
  • Try a bubbly or effervescent type of water.
  • Add your favorite flavoring to seltzer water and you have your own home made soda - only much more healthful.
  • Consider a product such as True Lemon, an all-natural crystallized lemon powder (it comes in lime and orange, as well).
  • Add a splash of your favorite fruit juice to your water for additional flavor, sweetness and nutrients.
  • Try sparkling mineral waters like Perrier or San Pellegrino.

Chocolate Milk Nutrients

Chocolate Milk Instead of Soda?

Chocolate milk offers the same nutrients as white milk. It also has less than half the amount of sugar than a soft drink or juice does, adding it to the list of beneficial beverages. It has very little caffeine whereas a soft drink without the caffeine removed has about ten times as much caffeine. However, chocolate milk can satisfy a soda craving due to its satisfaction to our sweet tooth. Low and non-fat varieties of chocolate milk keep fat and calories in check.

Nutrients in Chocolate Milk

  • Calcium.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Riboflavin.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Protein.
  • Potassium.
  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin B-12.
  • Niacin.

Sports Drink Idea

Here is a sports drink idea that both works and tastes great - and you make it yourself. Take a glass of orange juice and add a pinch of salt; dilute with an equal amount of water. This electrolyte-rich beverage provides roughly the same number of calories and grams of carbohydrate as commercially prepared sports drinks. Because orange juice contains fructose (fruit sugar), studies show it may help keep levels of blood sugar more stable than commercial drinks made with glucose.

Tea Time?

And if you enjoy tea, you're in luck - tea is considered even healthier than water, in spite of it being a mild diuretic. A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking tea is actually healthier than just drinking plain water. The flavanoids in tea may protect against diseases such as heart disease and cancer. This applies to green, black or white or herbal teas. (You might want to skip the cream and sugar, though).

How Calories in Beverages Sneak Up on Us

Super Sized Beverage

Beverages don't tend to fill us up so we often tend to discount them as added calories in our daily diets. However, those calories do add up and 3,500 calories equal a pound of fat no matter where they come from.

The other problem is that many beverages are super-sized. Instead of the once normal eight-ounce serving, we often get four times that much. These large sizes are a monetary value, but not a bargain to our health.

Here are a few things you can try.

  • Drink more non-caloric beverages like water or tea. Coffee and diet colas are virtually calorie-free, but it is a good idea not to go overboard on them.
  • Order the small sized beverage when you buy fast food drinks. Sounds like a "no brainer", but it's amazing what a habit can make us do!
  • Ask for extra ice and get fewer calories. Chew on the ice, too! Water is the best beverage.
  • Get an empty cup and split your drink with someone.
  • Don't drink a calorie-containing beverage to try to stave off hunger.
  • Snack on baby carrots or a piece of fruit instead, or chew some sugar free gum.

It's easy to be fooled by beverages.

Common Beverages and Their Caloric Amounts

  • Coffee with creamer - 8 ounces - 30 calories
  • McDonald's small Sprite - 16 ounces - 150 calories
  • Starbucks Venti Cappuccino - 20 ounces - 200 calories
  • Burger King large Coke - 32 ounces - 310 calories
  • 7-Eleven Double Gulp Coke - 64 ounces - 600 calories

Chocolate Milk Fit Fact

Chocolate Milk Fit Fact