Rest assured that you do not need to drink the often recommended 8 cups of water daily. In 2004, the Institute for Medicine issued new fluid guidelines stating that average healthy Americans should let thirst be their guide and that even caffeinated beverages count toward our fluid requirements. This doesn’t mean, of course, that water isn’t your best choice for hydrating. It’s free of calories, colorings and sweeteners. I have seen patients trim calories and lose weight once they ditched sugary drinks in favor of water.
You might be surprised how a simple water filter can brighten the taste of water. If that’s not enough, use your imagination to flavor water. Add any of following to a pitcher of water and refrigerate. Even the combinations that sound odd are delicious. Before adding herbs, gently crush them in your hand to release their flavors.
• Cucumber slices with mint
• Lemon slices with grated ginger root
• Grapefruit, orange and lime slices with mint
• Peach slices with basil
• Blackberries and lime slices with mint
Unsweetened tea is another excellent choice. Skip the bottled teas, however, because they lack the health-boosting, disease-fighting flavonoids found in freshly brewed teas.
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND
Jill Weisenberger Food
and Nutrition Solutions