Dr. Katrina Traikov ND

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Hydration and Being Mindful of the Calories We Drink

We all know staying hydrated is good for us. It helps our body carry out many important functions and helps give our skin a healthy glow! However, it’s also important to be mindful of the calories in the liquids we consume, and to realize that many calorie-rich drinks may not really be helping us to stay hydrated, or may be putting stress on our bodies in other ways.

Calorie-Rich Drinks

Examples of calorie-rich drinks include:

  • Soda Pop
  • Sweetened drinks (eg. Iced tea, flavoured lattes, many blended beverages)
  • Drinks with high fat dairy products like cream (eg. many blended beverages)
  • Fruit Juice
  • Alcohol
  • Iced tea
  • Milkshakes
  • Energy Drinks
  • Sports Drinks

Read the Ingredient List and ask for Nutritional Information

Common Calorie-Rich Sweeteners include:

  • Syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey (though it does taste sweeter than table sugar, meaning you can use less of it)
  • Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose

Keep in mind that artificial sweeteners may also be linked to weight gain.

4 Great ways to stay Hydrated

1) Water

Plain and simple. If you don’t like the taste of water, try a Brita filter or similar product.

2) Herbal Tea

Unsweetened herbal teas include basically everything except green tea, black tea, or white tea. They naturally do not contain caffeine. With such a wide variety of flavours and potential health benefits they are a great way to stay hydrated and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Examples include:

  • Rooibos
  • Hibiscus
  • Lemon
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile

3) Put Fruit,Veggies or Fresh Herbs in your Water

Fruit or veggies can help flavour your water naturally. Examples include:

  • 1-2 raspberries
  • 1 small strawberry
  • 2-3 blueberries
  • 1 slice of cucumber
  • a splash of lemon, lime, or other fruit or vegetable juice
  • 1-2 tsp watermelon
  • 1-2 leaves of crushed mint

5) Homemade Broth

Broth can be a great way to stay hydrated; especially during the fall and winter months. Homemade broth can be made by filling a pot with water; adding chicken or beef bones; some salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste; and veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli stems, kale stems, and onion. Bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer for 8-12 hours.

The broth is then strained and the veggies and bones are discarded as many of their nutrients are now in the broth. The broth can be frozen for later, or soup ingredients like cooked chicken meat, leafy greens, celery, carrots, onions, broccoli, or garlic can be added and cooked until a desired texture for the veggies is reached.

What’s your Favourite Way to Stay Hydrated?

Originally Published in the Valley Naturopath clinic newsletter January 2016.

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    Any information presented here is provided for educational purposes only and is general in nature. It is not intended to be health advice for any individual. Please speak to your health provider before making any changes – dietary, lifestyle or otherwise - for direct and individualized advice. As information changes constantly, the accuracy and completeness of any information presented here cannot be guaranteed. Access of the information presented is solely at your own risk. It will be assumed that access indemnifies Valley Naturopath and any person involved in the preparation of the information presented here from any and all injury or damage arising from such use.