We all know water is good for us. In fact, it is us. As adults, we are 60 percent water; we rely on water to deliver nutrients through our bloodstream, flush out our wastes, lubricate our joints, form our saliva, and regulate our body temperature through sweating.
Staying hydrated—especially during the summer months—is essential. But, will any liquid do? In a pinch, and generally speaking, yes. But the ultimate healthy choice is water.
Soda makers would have you believe their bubbly beverage is the key to happiness and diet soda is all you need to stay slim, but healthcare professionals disagree.
Sugary drinks may cause as many as 180,000 deaths annually, according to a study presented to the American Heart Association. Research shows that drinks containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS, a common sweetener in sodas and fruit drinks) cause arthritis in otherwise healthy adults 20 to 30 years old. Other studies show increased incidence of bronchitis in adults 20 to 55 years old who consume HFCS-sweetened soft drinks five or more times per week. The same types of drinks have been linked to asthma in children and adolescents.
Even the weight-loss benefits of diet soda are questionable. “Fundamentally, we have no convincing evidence that diet soda or artificial sweeteners are actually helpful for people trying to lose weight,” says David Katz, MD, the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center.
It’s even possible diet soda contributes to weight gain. In 2011, an American Diabetes Association study showed that waist circumference was 70 percent greater for diet soda drinkers than nondiet soda drinkers.
Give your water a delightful boost; infuse it with the flavor of your favorite fruits, herbs, or vegetables. You’ve seen this done with lemon slices, so start thinking outside the box.
Drop some raspberries or strawberries in your water pitcher and leave them for at least three hours to chill in the refrigerator. Other choices include cucumber or orange slices; try grapefruit-rosemary, watermelon, or grape-pineapple combos. The choices are practically endless.
“Intake of High-Fructose Corn Syrup Sweetened Soft Drinks, Fruit Drinks and Apple Juice Is Associated with Prevalent Arthritis in US Adults, Aged 20-30 Years” by L.R. DeChristopher et al., Nutr Diabetes, 3/7/16
“Intake of High Fructose Corn Syrup Sweetened Soft Drinks Is Associated with Prevalent Chronic Bronchitis in US Adults, Ages 20-55 Y” by L.R. DeChristopher et al., Nutr J, 10/16/15
“The Water In You,” The USGS Water Science School, http://water.usgs.gov
By Dave Clarke