November 01, 2020

A better beverage

Think when you drink

You know water is the healthiest beverage option. But while people can hydrate with water alone, you might be craving a bit more flavor, wanting to indulge in a treat, or looking for added nutrients such as calcium or protein.

When choosing a beverage, it's important to limit your intake of added sugar. Beverages are the No. 1 added sugar source in the U.S., even more so than snacks and sweets such as candy, doughnuts and ice cream. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that added sugars should make up less than 10% of your daily calories.

And remember that while it's tempting to think liquid calories "don't count," they do, and they can quickly add up if you're not careful.

Good choice

Water

Water is a perfect beverage: a calorie-free, refreshing way to hydrate. In places with safe tap water, there's no reason to spend extra for bottled water. Fill your own water bottle to encourage water drinking throughout the day. If you're craving flavor, there are ways to add zest to your glass:

  • Try adding slices of lime, lemon, cucumber or mint.
  • Flavored, sugarless sparkling waters are a good calorie-free option if you like the zest of carbonation.

With either option, be aware that frequent sipping throughout the day may lead to tooth enamel damage.

Dairy and nondairy milks

Dairy milk can be a good option for balanced nutrition. Fat-free skim or 1% milk is the best choice for most adults. If you opt for nondairy milk alternatives, purchase...