Undeniably, water remains at the top of the list of important beverages for 2014.

After all, the body remains made mostly of water — some things have not changed with the New Year! And yet, it seems like every time I turn around there is yet another new beverage on the market. It turns out some of them are better than others. While most of us realize that soda is not the best hydration option because of the high sugar content, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a beverage is bubble-free it is automatically healthier than soda.

Some non-carbonated beverages such as sweetened iced tea, lemonade, and even some flavored waters and bottled protein shakes have as much, if not more, sugar in them than their fizzy counter part.

So, what should you be drinking when you want a water alternative? Here are 5 nifty ideas:

  1. Kombucha.  Kombucha is a bubbly beverage rich in probiotic gut-friendly bacteria.
  2. Coconut Water.  A beverage naturally high in electrolytes while being low in calories.
  3. Home-made sports drink (see recipe below).  Not all sports drinks are colored blue and contain lots of sugar. Give this recipe a try!
  4. Unsweetened tea – black, green, white, red, or herbal.  Unsweetened iced tea can be a great way to increase your antioxidant intake for the day.
  5. Water with fresh lemon, mint or cucumber.  Refreshing!

And for a post-workout fuel, splurge a little with a low fat organic chocolate milk or chocolate almond milk.

Sports Drink Recipe

  •             ¼ cup Sugar
  •             ¼ tsp. Salt
  •             ¼ cup Orange Juice
  •             3 ½ cups Water

Learn to cook with Kim! Come to our free “Food Matters Cooking Series” on January 26, February 23, March 9 and March 23. Details here

Kim Evans, RD, is a clinical dietitian for the UVM Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Program. 

Kim Evans, RD, is a clinical dietitian for UVM Medical Center's Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Program.

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