Who doesn’t love soda, coffee and other sugary drinks? That about-addictive sensation that teases your palate with sweetness? What could be better in life?
Actually, the answer is water. Water is entirely better for you. But many of us are still struggling to realize that.
The average American ingests about three pounds of sugar each week, and some 30 percent of our sugar consumption comes from soft drinks or other sugary liquids. Despite its compelling taste, though, sugar can have extreme health risks.
The YMCA of Greater Brandywine, as part of ACTIVATE Chester County, is challenging you to choose a better path with the 2016 “Re-think Your Drink” campaign. A cornerstone in the campaign is scrubbing the sugary drinks and subbing them with more water. Here are a few tasty ways you and your family can do that!
1. Juice Substitutes: Try taking different fruits and soaking them overnight in ice cold water. Yummy combinations could be watermelon and mint, strawberry and lemons, blackberries and oranges. The water will be naturally flavored and surprisingly delicious!
2. Soda/Soft Drink Substitutes: Seltzers and sparking waters are quite undervalued. Soda may be a tough cold-turkey attempt but these bubbly substitutes can easily become routine.
3. Sweet Tea Substitutes: Sweetened teas are popular drinks many of us cannot dream of letting go. However, at-home-brews with natural ingredients, rather than the presweetened options, are a great way to avoid added or artificial sugars. For example, take a regular tea brew, such as basic Lipton, and infuse it with mint leaves and strawberries for an enjoyable sugar-alternative.
4. Energy Drink Substitutes: Coconut water has great antioxidants and is a sugar-free cool-down option after a tough work out. Other options like protein shakes with oats and fruits are solid energy boost replacements as well – just keep a look out for the sugar count!
5. Coffee Substitutes: Morning coffee can be the hardest let-go. Cut out the Splenda, creamers, swirls and any other flavorings and you’ll be on track to a healthier coffee indulgence. Try mixing coffee with milk or unsweetened soymilk if you still crave a creamy coffee boost.
Making better choices that benefit your lifestyle underlines the Re-think Your Drink campaign, and now’s a great time to jump-start a healthier you. And if you need incentive to reach for water instead of those familiar sweetened drinks, remember what can come from having too much sugar in your daily diet:
· Obesity and weight gain
· Rotten teeth
· Type 2 diabetes
· Heart disease
All of these can be avoided with a few changes, such as what you choose to chug. So, drink up, friends, but drink smartly.
Take the “Re-Think Your Drink” pledge and start holding yourself accountable for your monthly beverage intake. Each glass of water will not only cleanse, but also will pour more life into a happier, healthier, you.
Want to discover other ways to get fit? Drop in to a Y location near you today to learn more!
Disclaimer: Chester County Moms is a proud partner with the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.