Super Waters: Health or Hype?
Will these new waters actually get us to drink up?
By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
These days, bottled water is not necessarily simple H2O. Store shelves and vending machines are filled with plain and so-called "fitness waters," chock full of vitamins, minerals, and herbal potions. Some super waters not only come with nutrient additions but contain soluble fiber, fruit essence, caffeine, and believe it or not, oxygen.
Everyone has heard the age-old advice to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. More of us need to heed this sage advice to keep our bodies well hydrated and our energy level up. The problem is, we get bored with large volumes of plain water. Enter the age of fitness waters. Savvy marketers have picked up on the need for low-calorie beverages and have developed fitness waters to help us meet our fluid requirements. The real question is, are fitness waters any better than plain water? And the simple answer is, only if they help you drink up. Otherwise, plain water is just fine.
Most of the fitness waters are low in calories and pose little threat to the daily caloric intake or eating plan. If you enjoy drinking them and they help you meet your fluid needs, enjoy one or two per day. For best selection, read the label or check out the following chart of the most popular fitness waters on the market:
Coffee, Tea, or Fitness Water?
You can satisfy approximately half of your fluid requirements with beverages other than water, such as low-fat milk, coffee, caffeine-free tea, 100% juice, sports drinks, or sparkling water. Not only can drinking these beverages satisfy your fluid needs, so can water-rich foods and fluids such as soup, fruits, and vegetables. The additional benefit of eating water-rich foods is all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals they provide, which will not only quench thirst but also keep you feeling full. Consider these dieters' dream foods!
Oh, you want to be kind to your wallet and get your fluids the good old-fashioned way, with plain drinking water? You can always consider these options to help you jazz up plain water and meet your fluid needs:
Remember to limit your intake of caffeinated, artificially sweetened, and alcoholic beverages to fulfill your requirements as these beverages can rob your body of fluids and contribute to dehydration.
In the end, regardless of your choice of beverage, the most important thing is to drink up for good health!
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