Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Water Works (National Nutrition Month® Guest Post)

Last year, during my Sun Safety Series, I commented about the importance of hydration.  This year, for my National Nutrition Month® series, guest author Heather K. Jones gives us more insight to why drinking water is a healthy part of your diet. Heather is a Registered Dietician (RD), health journalist, and author of several health books. She is also the creator of What's Your Diet Type and The Diet P.I.. You can find Heather online on her website, Facebook, and Twitter

Like many people, you may grab a bottle or can of soda if you need a caffeine or sugar boost.
Next time you do, think of these facts: People who drink a soda every day are more likely to be overweight than those who don’t. Being overweight or obese, in turn, increases the likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and many other health problems. Higher consumption of soda is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. And drinking soda could even increase your risk for cancer – many popular sodas contain high levels of a compound called 4-methylimidazole, a known animal carcinogen.
Think diet soda is the answer? Not so fast. The no-calorie sweeteners like those found in diet soda may actually make you hungrier and cause you to overeat, as the body can get confused by artificial sweeteners.
Why water? First, water can help you lose weight, by revving up your metabolism and helping you feel fuller. And if you like icy cold water, that’s even better – your body has to work to warm the water, which burns a few extra calories. If you drink just one 20-ounce bottle of soda a day (and keep in mind that many restaurants serve drinks in much larger containers), that’s adding an extra 93,440 calories per year – about 25 pounds of extra weight!
Water also helps you look better. Wrinkles and fine lines and wrinkles are deeper when you're dehydrated, while drinking water hydrates skin cells, helping to fill in wrinkles. Water also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, leaving your skin clear and glowing.

Plain old water can be boring, I get that, really. Hint Water, whose mantra is Drink Water, Not Sugar, is the real (natural) deal. It’s purified water infused with fruit and vegetable extracts—no extra calories, no added sugars, and no chemicals. From Mango-Grapefruit, Cucumber, Pomegranate-Tangerine and more, Hint comes in an array of delicious flavors.

Or you can infuse your own water! It’s easy and delish. Thinly slice fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs, add them to a pitcher of filtered water, and refrigerate (anywhere from 2 hours to overnight—the longer it sits, the more intense the flavor will be). That’s it! The combos of flavors are limitless—my favorites include strawberry-basil, tangerine-grapefruit, mixed berry, and cucumber-melon-mint.
Need some help kicking the can? HINT Water’s 21-day Healthy Hydration Challenge—a kick-it-for-good sayonara to sugar-sweetened beverages that promises to show you how to retrain your brain to love drinking water, not sugar. The Challenge will sweep you into 21 fun, motivating, and pain-free days of healthy change, with a Registered Dietitian to guide the way, daily action-oriented tips, plus a regularly updated blog on my website, Take the Challenge and you’ll also have a chance to win healthy prizes including 10 cases of HINT Water, 10 cases of HINT Fizz, a $250 gift card to Athleta, 1-on-1 video sessions with the official HINT Registered Dietitian (valued at $1000), plus cool HINT gear including water bottles and more! Deadline to submit is May 1st, 2012.
To sign up: Visit HINT’s Facebook page

Disclaimer: This article was written by a guest author. I did not receive financial compensation to publish this post on my blog. All information and opinions presented by the guest authors are solely theirs.