With sugar-sweetened beverages just about everywhere these days, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find new ways to get — and stay — hydrated without the extra sweet stuff.
Some hydration background: The amount of fluid you need depends on your weight, the outside temperature, how much you exercise, and the state of your health. But as a general rule, most of us need a minimum of eight cups daily, and those who work out vigorously or sweat a lot should drink even more.
Since hydration is integral to your general health and weight-maintenance (swapping out the sugary stuff for water is an easy way to cut calories from your day!)
Here are some ultra-simple strategies to staying hydrated — worry-free!
1. Enjoy a cup or two of unsweetened coffee (yes, coffee counts!).
Concerns about dehydration are actually something of an "old wives' tale." While the caffeine in coffee makes you more alert and energized, the H2O benefits are also crucial for starting your day on the right foot. Just make sure to skip the sugary syrups, bottled coffee drinks, and frozen pseudo-milkshakes to avoid added sugar in your coffee.
2. Sip (unsweetened) iced tea.
Hot or cold, tea is both antioxidant-packed and a great way to sneak in some extra H2O to keep hydrated. Sip (unsweetened) fruit flavored herbal versions, black, green, or oolong teas to your heart's desire.
3. Choose sparkling.
Seltzer and fruit-flavored seltzer can be found at most supermarkets, or you can add fresh or frozen fruit to plain versions. When you're buying these premade: Be sure you're looking for ones without any added flavorings or ingredients, like acesulfame-K and aspartame. These are sugar-free sodas, not seltzers! Brands we love include Hint water, Poland Spring Black Cherry Seltzer, Canada Dry Cranberry Lime, Polar Ice Grapefruit Seltzer, and Hal's Vanilla Seltzer.
4. Load up on fruits and veggies.
Strawberries, spinach, peppers, and melon can deliver up to a half-cup of H2O per serving.
5. Set a reminder.
Alarms on your smart phone, computer, or even many iPhone/Android apps will remind you that it's time for a glass of water. If you have trouble keeping track, these can be great tools to keep you in check throughout the summer months. Plus, getting up to grab a cup of H2O from the water cooler is a great way to stay social during your workday.