N. Jay Sorensen, MBA RD LD
Last Updated: February 16, 2015
Adequate hydration is an important part of the daily diet. As a measure, eight to ten glasses of water a day is the standard rule necessary to meet individual hydration needs. Researchers have found that in the last couple of decades, the amount of calories that we consume by the way of sodas, sports drinks, lattes, glasses of wine and exotic cocktails has doubled. Simple solution, drink more water.
Learn to recognize your thirst signals, by first resisting the temptation to drinking sodas and packing on unwanted calories. When you feel thirsty try to quench it with water. If tap water is not your fancy, there is a wide variety of bottled waters available when dining out, at work, or away from home.
Remember there is a wide range of food and beverages that count towards your daily hydration. However, water is the best choice for hydrating the body in a hurry. Bottle water is convenient and readily available at dinning establishments, in vending machines, on supermarket shelves, and convenience stores. Best of all, water can help keep your appetite in check. Be aware bottle water often times does not contain fluoride and moreover may not be any better than the water in your tap. Here are some tips on telling the difference between them:
Artesian water: This is a specific type of well water. The well must tap an aquifer that has water standing much higher than the rock, gravel or sand. An aquifer is an underground layer of rock or sand with water.
Mineral water: This type of water contains naturally occurring minerals at a standard level, no less that 250 parts per million (ppm), of total dissolved solids or minerals. These minerals must be naturally present, not added. If the level is less that 500 ppm, it will be labeled "low mineral content"; if higher than 1,500 ppm, "high mineral content."
Purified water: This is a demineralized water that has been processed to remove minerals. Distilled water, which is one type of purified water, has been evaporated to steam, then recondensed to remove minerals. Minerals may also be removed by deionizing, reverse osmosis, or other processes.
Sparkling water: This is water with a "fizz." Either carbon dioxide is added, or the water is naturally carbonated. If carbon dioxide is added, it can't be any more than its naturally carbonated level would be. It can only be labeled as natural sparkling water if there's no added carbonation. Seltzer and club soda are considered soft drinks, not sparkling water.
Spring water: This water comes from a natural spring in the ground. It may or may not be carbonated. These are some of the most well-known types of bottled waters. There are many other types of flavored drinks available, too. Be sure to read the labels on these products, because the nutritional content can vary quite a bit.
Start a meal with a water appetizer. Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will keep you hydrated and make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.