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Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks — like soda, cola, fruit juice, fruit punch, lemonade, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened tea and coffee — play a big role in weight gain. Carrying too much weight increases the risk for diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease, and certain cancers. Sugary drinks tend to become a habit. People who buy sugary drinks often can spend hundreds of dollars of grocery money on them each year. That’s money that could be spent on more nutritious food, instead. Replacing sugary drinks with healthier choices is surprisingly easy for most people, even kids! It’s a simple step if you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health.

Quick Tips

Here are some more ideas:

  • Read labels. Learn how many calories are in different drinks.
  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it during the day.
  • Keep jugs or bottles of cold water or iced tea in the refrigerator, instead of sodas and sports drinks.
  • Offer only water or low-fat milk with meals.
  • When you choose a sugar-sweetened drink, select the smallest size.

The goal for most adults is 6–8 glasses of water a day

Your needs may be slightly more or less, depending on the weather and your level of activity.

Thirst is not a good indicator of your need for water.
By the time you feel thirsty, you are likely already dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, your body does not have enough fluid to function at its best.
A way to tell if you are dehydrated is to check the color of your urine. If it is clear or pale yellow, you’re doing great. If it is darker, like apple juice, you may be dehydrated. Dark yellow urine is a signal to drink more fluids.

Water is a good choice because it contains no calories.
Many other beverages are full of sugar and calories. Consuming sugary drinks makes it much harder to lose weight.

When you do choose to drink something other than water, follow these basic tips:
Drink caffeinated beverages in moderation (up to 3 cups, or 24 ounces, per day).
Limit the amount of sugar and cream you add to your coffee and tea.
Choose low-fat or non-fat milk as a creamer.
Limit fruit juice to 4 ounces per day (1/2 cup).

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Try drinking a 12-ounce glass of water at each meal and with each snack; doing that will give you a total of seven-and-a-half glasses of water for the day.
  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Flavor your water with a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber.
  • Drink ice water.
  • Eat foods high in water, such as fruits, vegetables, and soups. Watermelon, oranges, grapes, berries, and tomatoes contain a lot of water.
  • Drink a glass of non-fat or 1% milk.