Tami's Tips

Tami’s Tips: Staying Hydrated Sans Extra Calories

By Tami Lyon, MPH, RD
June 19, 2016

Cold beverages in pitchers

In the heat of summer, it’s important to stay hydrated for your health and safety.  Busy with sunny day activities, and faced with aggressive seasonal beverage marketing, it’s very easy to grab the first enticing drink we encounter when we’re thirsty.

Stay hydrated without adding extra calories by planning ahead, and by knowing what to look for on nutrition labels.  Be particularly wary of smoothies, fruit juices, sports drinks and flavored iced teas as they can pack a wallop of calories, mostly coming from sugar.

— Check the nutrition label for the number of servings per bottle.  Then check the number of calories per serving per bottle.  Many commercial beverages provide two to three servings per bottle!

— Look for the number of grams of sugar per serving and then double check the ingredient list for added sugars.  For example, Arizona Lemon Iced Tea contains 21 grams of sugar per eight ounce serving.  Available in 16 ounce cans or 16.9 ounce bottles, that’s at least 140 calories and 42 grams of pure sugar per container.

— Try to cap sugar content at zero to three grams per serving. Beverages such as mineral water, plain iced tea, or coffee are less likely to contain sugar.

— Invest in a high quality water bottle and bring your own refreshing drink with you.  Find one with a filter to clean out impurities in your water and make filling up anywhere you are safe and convenient.

— Try making a spritzer by combining plain mineral water with a splash of fruit juice or fruit tea for a low calorie beverage at a fraction of the calories.

— Infuse your water with fresh fruits, veggies and herbs.  Ingredients like lime, grapefruit, orange, cucumber, ginger, mint, and lavender are just a few that can spruce up your H20.

— Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day by using an extra tool such as a reminder app on your phone or a bottle marked with ounces or hours.  

Stay cool this summer!
Tami Lyon, MPH, RD

*Individual Results May Vary