Time to hydrate!
This month’s BlueChip challenge is Go H2O … which is to replace one (you can do this) drink, such as juice or soda, with water. It is important to keep hydrated all year long, and staying hydrated during the hot summer months can be more of a challenge.
Why is water the best choice even when there are other other “healthy” drinks out there? All too often, companies tout drinks as “healthy” when in fact they may be riddled with sugar and additives. Which leads us to our learning experience last week. On a whim, at one of our favorite spots to grab an afternoon pick me up, I decided to deviate from my standard afternoon unsweetened iced tea and try one of the “new” drinks that was promoted as a fresh, healthy alternative to coffee. Not thinking twice about it, and having seen it posted on social media several times, I decided to take a chance. One sip in, and don’t get me wrong, it was tasty … I knew it was not as healthy as proclaimed. I was intrigued to investigate the ingredient list of said libation. Was it surprising that the second main ingredient was sugar (22 grams worth)? Based on the taste, no. But, I was surprised based on how it had been promoted.
Further down the list of ingredients (which I found on the company’s website) … I started to hit ingredients I had to Google. Uh oh. As a self proclaimed clean eater … when I have to google an ingredient, I get a little antsy. Isn’t the rule of thumb don’t eat / drink things you cannot pronounce or have to google? First up … Erythritol, a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are processed and cause many people digestive upset, which presumably we all want to avoid.
Next on my list to investigate was Rebaudiside A … an assumedly safe member of the stevia world … but a sweetener that goes through an intense process to make it just that … processed and not natural. So in conclusion, my seemingly innocent alternative afternoon pick me up had more sugar and processed ingredients than I want to ingest.
So the lesson of the day? Healthy can be used in advertising with a very broad definition. Try to read labels first or look up drinks from popular chains online before purchasing.
If you are aiming to watch your sugar intake here are some examples of popular drinks who still wallop consumers in the sugar category (as a benchmark, a standard 12 oz can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar) … Read labels!
- Vitamin Water, 20 oz – flavors vary but average about 33 grams of sugar
- Naked Green Machine Smoothie, 15 oz – 53 grams of sugar (but the packaging looks so healthy!)
- Minute Maid Orange Juice, 8 oz – 24 grams of sugar
Want to make all of this water drinking more exciting? Infuse it with some of your favorite fruits and vegetables!
*And you may be wondering, how much water is enough per day? There are several formulas, but a well believed practice is to take your 2/3 of your body weight and drink that amount in ounces. This should be sufficient to keep your cells happy and digestion on track.
Disclaimer: healthy is a subjective term based on our personal dietary needs.
Each month, BlueChip provides personal and group challenges that foster workplace wellness and help encourage healthy habits and a healthy work environment.