Friday, August 17, 2018

Hannaford Helps Reusable Bags Program

Gulpwater is proud to announce that it will be partnering with Hannaford for their Hannaford Helps Reusable Bags Program for the month of September. Every time one of Hannaford's reusable bags is purchased in the month of September, a one dollar donation is made to Gulpwater to help further our pursuit of leading the push in hydration education. Hannaford's bags offer an environmentally conscious, yet effective shopping bag, which takes away the need to use countless single use plastic bags which take decades to break down in a landfill. Click this link to help further two great causes!
Image result for hannaford bag

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Young Athletes Should Stay Hydrated, but too Much Water can be Deadly


Young Athletes Should Stay Hydrated but too Much Water can be Deadly 
by Tamara Hew-Butler
Image result for water bottles
With August football practice fast approaching, every coach's favorite cheer will be to "stay hydrated" and "keep urine clear" during the summer heat.
In 2017, a University of Texas football coach created a urine-based "Longhorn Football Hydration Chart," which labeled players with yellow urine as "selfish teammates" and those with brown urine as "bad guys." This "hydration shaming" practice has permeated high school sports, thereby encouraging a sporting culture which equates superior performance with superior hydration.
Overzealous obedience to this hydration advice has uncovered a dark underbelly to superior hydration practices: overhydration. When high school football player Walker Wilbanks died in Mississippi in August 2014 from overhydration, the doctor said that the cause of death was an "unpredictable freak occurrence."
    Two weeks prior, another high school football player from Georgia drank "two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade" after football practice to prevent muscle cramps and then died. Thus, over the last four years, two high school football players have died during August football practice from overhydrating -- a medical condition known as exercise-associated hyponatremia.
    How much should you drink to stay hydrated during exercise?
    Conversely, no football player has ever been known to die from dehydration, although seven died during this same four-year period from heatstroke, which may be related, but not always. 

    How do I know about that overhydration kills athletes? I watched runners almost die after drinking 100 cups of water during a marathon because they were scared of becoming "dehydrated." So, I got interested in thirst.
    Turns out, the neuroendocrine thirst circuit dates back 700 million years and is found in most animals, including bugs and worms. Thirst activates the same conscious area of the brain that tells us we're hungry or have to pee. To say we need to stay "ahead of thirst" (or die) is like saying we need to pee every hour to stay ahead of imminent bladder explosion (or die). The molecular and neural circuits that govern fluid intake (and micturition) in real-time are absolutely exquisite.
    It's remarkable to think that animals survive without water bottles and urine charts -- they drink when they are thirsty, and we should too.

    Too much water, too little salt

    Hyponatremia is caused by drinking too much water or sports drinks, which dilutes blood salt levels below the normal range. Any sudden drop in blood salt levels, from drinking more than the body can excrete, can cause all cells in the body to swell. Brain swelling from hyponatremia can cause headaches and vomiting, while muscle cell swelling can trigger whole-body muscle cramping.
    What is most frightening, however, is that these symptoms mimic those of dehydration. They are often treated by medical staff with more fluids.
    So, which hydration imbalance -- dehydration and overhydration -- is the lesser of two evils?
    Dehydration is undeniably harmful to human health and performance. Wrestlers have died from trying to "make weight," through vigorous dehydration practices. A recent meta-analysis of 33 studies verified that more than 2 percent dehydration impairs cognition. Dehydration can impair performance and increase core body temperature, as per the American College of Sports Medicine's latest position statement. All of these statements underscore the vital importance of staying hydrated.
    But I fear that many coaches ignore the finer points that support those conclusions. For example, three wrestlers who died of dehydration rapidly lost about 15 percent of body weight by withholding fluids while exercising in a hot environment in a rubber suit. Similarly, to achieve 3 percent dehydration, which impairs cognition, individuals need to withhold fluids for 24 hours. And that's without exercise.
    These dehydration protocols do not necessarily represent "free-living" situations. When hikers die from dehydration in the desert, most if not all had become lost or had run out of fluids. Thus, thirst -- or the "deep-seated desire for water" -- is rarely "broken" when healthy people die from dehydration. Morbidity and mortality occur when there is no fluid available, fluids are withheld, as in lab studies, or when athletes refuse to drink for other reasons, such as "making weight."

    When do athletes and others need to drink?

    So how much fluid should football players -- and all other humans for that matter -- drink? If you ask fluid balance experts who perform basic science research on the brain or kidney, or clinicians who specialize in fluid balance disorders, researchers who perform brain scans on dehydrated and overhydrated humans, or even worm investigators, they all agree that water balance is tightly regulated and that all land mammals need to drink when thirsty.
    Drinking when you are thirsty is not "too late," because the thirst mechanism is hardwired into the nervous system to protect against scarcity. Thirst represents the highly individualized signal which protects the balance between water and salt regardless of size, activity or ambient temperature and is encoded in most invertebrate and all vertebrate DNA. Babies are born with this innate behavioral drive.
    Then, what about the need for eight glasses of water per day? There is no evidence to support this. What about peeing until our urine is clear? Dark colored urine merely reflects water conservation by the kidney, rather than water lack by the body.

    What's a football player to do?

    Football players absolutely need water, but they should be warned not to overdo it.
    In the modern era, where fluid is widely available, in order to stay adequately hydrated, the following must occur:
    • A variety of fluids needs to be freely available to football players, and
    • The players should be given the freedom to drink whenever they feel thirsty.
    And when the players get hot, they need the opportunity to pour generous amounts of ice water over their heads instead of into their mouths to promote evaporative cooling, rather than dilute sodium levels. Better yet, they should be allowed to go inside and cool off.

    We should recognize who the "true champions" may be with regards to most modern day hydration advice. According to the latest figures, bottled water sales have increased to US $18.5 billion, up 8.8 percent from the previous year. This revenue does not include the vast array of purified, infused, oxygenized, sparkled, distilled, intravenous and reverse osmosis versions that compete for attention on the market.
    While we all need water, drinking until our "urine is clear" is money (and water) flushed away. And with the threat of overdrinking high in motivated athletes, I ask coaches/trainers to reconsider before enforcing the urine color chart in athlete locker rooms: Is it worth the risk?

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    The Mounting Evidence Against Diet Sodas


    The Mounting Evidence Against Diet Sodas

    Diet sodas being poured into glasses.
    Studies suggest possible links between low-calorie beverages and health risks, though more research is needed
    By Julia Calderone
    May 24, 2017

    Many people think of diet sodas as healthy, low-calorie alternatives to sugary drinks. Yet a small but growing body of evidence suggests that diet sodas may have health downsides and may not even provide the benefits some people turn to them for, such as weight loss.

    “Excess sugar intake is a problem in Western society because it contributes to obesity, diabetes, and other conditions,” says Matthew P. Pase, Ph.D., a research fellow in neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine. “We know that diet beverages are becoming more popular, but we don’t have a lot of research into the effects of diet beverages on different aspects of health.”

    The topic deserves closer inspection, given the widespread popularity of these drinks. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, nearly half of adults and a quarter of children in the U.S. consume artificial sweeteners—and the majority do so on a daily basis. Diet drinks make up the bulk of the intake.

    Here, what we know so far about diet sodas and their role in health, and what you can do to make smart beverage choices in the meantime.

    Not So Heart Smart?
    The strongest evidence so far links regular diet soda intake with cardiovascular conditions, such as stroke and heart attack, as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity (which are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease), says Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., professor of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. For example, in April, a widely reported study of about 4,400 people age 45 and older found that those who drank one or more diet sodas every day were three times more likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t, says Pase, who led the study. The research was published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

    This study had several limitations and didn’t prove that diet sodas themselves caused people to have strokes, Sacco says. It could be that people who drink diet sodas are in poorer health than people who don’t, for instance. But the findings do jibe with previous research, he says.

    For example, three large studies published between 2007 and 2009 found that people who drank diet sodas regularly were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and had between 30 and 55 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome (a constellation of health problems that could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke) than those who didn’t. Two other studies from 2012 further bolstered these results: Researchers linked daily diet soda consumption to about a 45 percent higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and early death in one study of about 2,600 people; and about 30 percent increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke—a less common type of stroke where a ruptured blood vessel or burst aneurysm causes loss of blood flow to the brain—in the other study of 130,000 people.

    Past research has also found links between diet sodas and conditions such as depression or pre-term delivery. For example, one study of almost 320,000 people published in the journal PLoS One in 2014 found that those who drank four or more cans of diet soda each day were about 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who didn’t.

    A Cautious Interpretation
    The studies linking diet sodas and cardiovascular risk are intriguing, says Sacco, but they still need to be repeated in more rigorous settings. For example, he says, all of these studies relied on participants self-reporting their dietary habits, which can introduce error because people don’t always remember what they ate. Additionally, those who drink diet sodas may already be at increased risk of conditions such as diabetes or obesity because they are unhealthy to begin with. For example, someone who is overweight may have switched from regular soda to diet soda to help control an already burgeoning waistline.

    And not every study has shown that diet sodas negatively affect health. For example, in 2012 researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed the drinking habits of almost 43,000 men and found that those who drank sugary drinks had a higher risk of coronary heart disease, but those who drank diet sodas did not.

    Another reason scientists hesitate to say definitively that diet sodas are bad for your health is that they aren’t sure how they increase disease risk. Sacco believes the ingredients in the drinks, such as artificial sweeteners, may damage blood vessels—possibly explaining their link to diseases such as diabetes and stroke. Some evidence has also suggested that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas can cause inflammation, a condition often associated with heart disease.

    It’s also possible that the artificial sweeteners commonly used in diet sodas may “trick” the brain into craving rich, high-calorie foods, leading to weight gain. They may also cause changes in hormone levels or gut bacteria, both of which play a role in weight and insulin management. For example, a study published in the journal Nature in 2014 found that artificial sweeteners altered the gut bacteria in people and mice, increasing their risk of glucose intolerance, a condition often preceding diabetes. However, “we’re not sure of the mechanism at all,” says Sacco, and all of these ideas warrant larger, more rigorous studies.

    Do you have tips for cutting back on your soda habit?
    Let us know in the comment section below.
    What to Do
    “In general, your best bet is to avoid regular and diet sodas altogether,” says Orly Avitzur, M.D., Consumer Reports’ medical director. “They offer little nutritional benefit, and in some cases, diet sodas can cause headaches or make you overeat.” For example, shortly after the artificial sweetener aspartame came onto the market in the late 1990s, one of the biggest complaints the Food and Drug Administration received about the sweetener was regarding headaches. No scientific studies have proved that aspartame or diet sodas in general cause headaches, but a review of evidence published in The Clinical Journal of Pain in 2009 suggests that large amounts of the sweetener—such as that in five or more diet soda drinks—could trigger or make headaches worse in people who are already susceptible to migraines.

    In addition to diet sodas, low-calorie sweeteners are also used in some iced teas, coffee drinks, and juices. Even some “healthy-sounding" drinks contain them. For example, Bai Antioxidant Infusion drinks, in flavors such as Brasilla Blueberry and Malawi Mango, claim no artificial sweeteners on the label, but a peek at the ingredient list reveals the low-calorie sweeteners erythritol and stevia extract. Sparking Ice, which is labeled “naturally flavored sparkling water,” contains 3 percent fruit juice as well as sucralose, an artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda. Flavored versions of Pedialyte, a popular rehydration and electrolyte drink for children, also contain sucralose.

    Not all public health experts say you must cut out diet sodas completely, however. In response to the recent Stroke study, Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., past chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont, said that limiting sugars is still important for health, “and until we know more, people should use artificially-sweetened drinks cautiously.”

    In a statement following the Stroke study, The Calorie Council, an organization representing the diet food and beverage industry, said there’s no reason to give up your diet soda habit just yet, because artificial sweeteners have been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and are deemed safe, and that evidence of their health impacts is still limited.

    In the end, the occasional soda—with sugar or artificial sweeteners—is probably fine. But your best bet the vast majority of the time, says Avitzur, is to stick with water, plain or sparkling. If you find unflavored water boring, add a splash of bitters with a slice of lemon or lime.

    Julia Calderone

    I'm a former scientist, using words and an audio recorder as my new research tools to untangle the health and food issues that matter most to consumers. I live in Brooklyn, N.Y., where I cook as much as possible. You can find me in the grocery aisle scrutinizing the fine print of every food item I put into my cart. Follow me on Twitter @juliacalderone.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    WHO Urges - Tax Soda and Sugar Drinks


    Tax Sodas and Sugary Drinks, WHO Urges Governments
    Governments should tax sugary drinks to fight the global epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

    A 20 percent price increase could reduce consumption of sweet drinks by the same proportion, the WHO said in a report issued on World Obesity Day.

    Image: San Francisco Approves Ordinance For Health Warnings For Sugary Soda Ads
    Bottles of soda are displayed in a cooler at a convenience store Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
    Drinking fewer calorie-laden sweet drinks is the best way to curb excessive weight and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, although fat and salt in processed foods are also at fault, WHO officials said.

    "We are now in a place where we can say there is enough evidence to move on this and we encourage countries to implement effective tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to prevent obesity," Temo Waqanivalu, of WHO's department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion, told a briefing.

    Related: Have Soda Company Donations Influenced Health Groups?

    Obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014, with 11 percent of men and 15 percent of women classified as obese - more than 500 million people, the report said.

    "Smart policies can help to turn the tides on this deadly epidemic, especially those aimed at reducing consumption of sugary drinks, which is fuelling obesity rates," former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, a WHO ambassador for noncommunicable diseases, said in a statement.

    Related: One Serving of Sugar a Day Can be Dangerous

    An estimated 42 million children under age 5 were overweight or obese in 2015, said Francesco Branca, director of WHO's nutrition and health department, an increase of about 11 million over 15 years.

    The United States has the most obesity per capita, but China has similar absolute numbers, Branca said, voicing fears that the epidemic could spread to sub-Saharan Africa.

    The WHO said there was increasing evidence that taxes and subsidies influence purchasing behavior and could be used to curb consumption of sweet drinks.

    Related: Sugar Industry Manipulated Heart Studies

    "This is tax on sugary drinks which is really by definition all types of beverages containing free sugars and this includes soft drinks, fruit drinks, sachet mixes, cordials, energy and sports drinks, flavored milks, breakfast drinks, even 100 percent fruit juices," Waqanivalu said.

    In Mexico, a tax rise in 2014 led to a 10 percent price hike and a 6 percent drop in purchases by year-end, the report said.

    WHO guidelines say people needed to roughly halve the amount of sugar they consume to lower risks of obesity and tooth decay.

    That means sugar making up less than 10 percent of their daily energy intake - about 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar for adults - but 5 percent is even better, it said.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2016

    Staying Hydrated - Staying Healthy Blog - To Return To The Hydration site, click here


    When the temperatures rise, getting enough to drink is important whether you’re playing sports, traveling or just sitting in the sun.

    And it’s critical for your heart health.
    .woman with water bottle running

    Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently.

    “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and an American Heart Association volunteer.

    Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

    How much water do you need?

    What does being well hydrated mean? The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration, Batson said.

    A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more water. People with cystic fibrosis have high concentrations of sodium in their sweat and also need to use caution to avoid dehydration. And some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.

    Thirst isn’t the best indicator that you need to drink. “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” Batson said.

    Batson said the easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.

    If you want to know exactly how much fluid you need, Batson recommends weighing yourself before and after exercise, to see how much you’ve lost through perspiration. It’s a particular good guide for athletes training in the hot summer months.

    “For every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish,” Batson said, adding that it’s not unusual for a high school football player, wearing pads and running through drills, to lose 5 pounds or more of sweat during a summer practice.

    Not sweating during vigorous physical activity can be a red flag that you’re dehydrated to the point of developing heat exhaustion.

    Water is best.

    For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Sources of water also include foods, such fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water. Sports drinks with electrolytes, may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in added sugars and calories.

    “It’s healthier to drink water while you’re exercising, and then when you’re done, eat a healthy snack like orange slices, bananas or a small handful of unsalted nuts ,” Batson said.

    He cautioned against fruit juices or sugary drinks, such as soda. “They can be hard on your stomach if you’re dehydrated,” he said.

    It’s also best to avoid drinks containing caffeine, which acts as a diuretic and causes you to lose more fluids.

    Batson says drinking water before you exercise or go out into the sun is an important first step.

    “Drinking water before is much more important,” he said. “Otherwise, you’re playing catch-up and your heart is straining.”

    Not just for athletes or exercise.

    Hydration isn’t just important during physical activity. Sitting in the sun on a hot or humid day, even if you aren’t exercising, can also cause your body to need more fluids.
    People who have a heart condition, are older than 50 or overweight may also have to take extra precautions.

    It’s also a good thing to keep tabs on your hydration if you’re traveling.

    “You might sweat differently if you’re in a different climate,” Batson said.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    Depending on the marketing trick of the century

    Coca-Cola and Pepsi are depending on 'the marketing trick of the century' to save business
    Kate Taylor
    Feb. 13, 2016, 9:01 PM 35,550  11

    smartwater with nails
    smartwater with nails@smartwater on Instagram

    In the next few years, bottled water will likely overtake carbonated-soft-drink sales. Surprisingly, that could be good news for soda giants — and bad news for consumers.

    “Bottled water is the marketing trick of the century,” writes John Jewell in The Week.

    Companies selling bottled water, he argues, have managed to convince Western consumers that buying water is a healthier choice than sugary soda.

    However, the comparison is a case of false equivalence. Bottled water isn’t simply an alternative to soda — it’s an alternative to the much more inexpensive and eco-friendly tap water.

    "The purchase of bottled water allows us to communicate our uniqueness and the care we have for bodies and the environment," writes Jewell.

    This nutrition-minded and independent sense of self is exactly what soda giants like Pepsi and Coke are currently trying to tap into.

    Bottled waterDiego Torres Silvestre/Flickr

    In 2014, the volumes of major water brands, including Nestle’s Poland Spring, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, and PepsiCo’s Aquafina, grew 7% to 9%. For comparison, Coke and Pepsi’s volumes fell close to 3% in the same time period.

    Consumers’ thirst for bottled water is only growing — on Thursday, major European bottling company Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. reported that total water volume increased 12% in 2015.

    “We’ve had some substantial investments in R&D that have allowed us to put out more new products,” Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, said at Beverage Digest’s Future Smarts conference in December. “Not all of it is skewed toward healthy, but very much healthy and very much single serve.”

    hiker drinking bottled water in desert
    hiker drinking bottled water in desertFlickr/Vlad B.

    Bottled water’s manufactured status as the healthiest beverage around is exactly the reputation that Coke and Pepsi want to earn. In recent years, the company has been plagued by sugar-related concerns that drove soda sales down and negative headlines up.

    However, while bottled water can cost 2,000 times as much as tap water, the beverage yields surprisingly low profit margins for companies. So these beverage giants are not only investing in simple bottled tap water — the most straightforward marketing trick in existence — but also new, pricier takes on the classic H2O.

    jennifer aniston smartwater
    jennifer aniston smartwater

    In 2016, Pepsi is debuting new sparkling Aquafina flavored waters. The drinks will be the “official hydration sponsor of New York Fashion Week” this spring, a glitzy title that continues the elevation of the most basic beverage. At the same time, Coca-Cola is rolling out sparkling Smartwater, with actress Jennifer Aniston as spokesperson.

    Bottled water is a $13 billion business that, logically, doesn’t need to exist.

    Jewell sums up his piece on the industry by saying that bottled water is a symbol of a “disposable culture” that values branding over the environment. Coke and Pepsi would likely disagree with that sentiment — but if there is one thing these soft-drink giants can do, it is market a beverage.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Drink Water Instead Of Soda or Juice


    CHALK Center

    Drink water instead of soda or juice.

    Why water?

    Our bodies are made mostly of water. At birth, 75%-85% of body weight is from water. This decreases with age, and in adulthood water contributes from 45%-70% of body mass.1
    • Keeps your body temperature normal.
    • Lubricates and cushions your joints.
    • Protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
    • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.2

    How much water do adults need?

    • The official recommendation is 8 glasses (8 oz. = 1 glass) of liquid a day for anyone over the age of 9 years old.
    • Children 1-3 years need a total of 4 cups of liquid a day.
    • Children 4-8 years need a total of 5 cups of liquid a day.3

    Hydrate for Exercise

    Before: Half a liter of water 2-3 hours before beginning exercise.
    During: About a cup of water (6 to 12 oz) every 15 to 20 minutes, but remember to consider temperature and how much you sweat.
    After: Drink more than half a liter or about one and a half regular sized bottles of water (.5 L) for every pound of body weight lost.

    For strenuous exercise, you may need to restore the electrolytes, minerals dissolved in your bodies’ water like sodium and potassium, since they are lost when you sweat. However, most sports drinks contain much more sugar then the body needs during or after a work-out. Diluting sports drinks makes them a better hydration alternative. 1 Remember though, most of activity we do during the day does not require the use of sports drinks to restore electrolytes.

    For an alternative to sports drinks try this:

    1 quart clean water
    1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
    8 teaspoons sugar
    and lemon juice

    Why more water and less soda and juice?

    Drink Water Brief ENG.jpg

    Many people in our community think juice is good to drink because it has vitamins. Even though 100% pure juice has vitamins that are good for you, it also has a lot of sugar. Just a single glass of 100% juice has about 7 teaspoons of sugar.
    Because it has so much sugar, a glass of 100% fruit juice has about 150 calories. That is a very big part of the calories your body needs – especially if you are a child - and that’s only one glass of juice! If you drink too many calories, you or your child may gain excess weight.

    Watch out for fruit drinks pretending to be fruit juices. Fruit drinks are often just sugar, water, and artificial flavoring. They lack the vitamins and minerals contained in the fruit used to make fruit juice. For this reason while fruit juice counts as a serving of fruit for the day, fruit drinks do not. When you are buying juices, make sure you look for 100% fruit juice and the word juice on the packaging.8

    Regular soda has just as much sugar as juice.
    Click here to learn how The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Asks New Yorkers if They’re “Pouring On the Pounds”.

    Since juice and soda have so many calories, drinking them makes it more likely you will gain weight and also makes it hard to get the right vitamins and minerals without having too many calories. That’s why it’s important to drink water when you are thirsty.

    Soda as a statement
    Besides its sweet taste that many people like, sometimes serving soda in a household is not simply a matter of taste, but a statement. Soda has often been viewed as a status symbol to many communities, or a signature of wealth. In this case, water is seen as a reminder of poverty (when that is all that is available). It’s time to put soda back into its place as a “sometimes” treat at best, and water, as the king of all beverages.

    Sugar by Any Other Name: How To Tell Whether Your Drink Is Sweetened

    Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious to anyone looking at the ingredients list. Some common caloric sweeteners are listed below. If these appear in the ingredients listed on your favorite beverage, you are drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage.
    • High-fructose corn syrup
    • Fructose
    • Fruit juice concentrates
    • Honey
    • Sugar
    • Syrup
    • Corn syrup
    • Sucrose
    • Dextrose

    Easy Drink Choices

    • Water is best!
    • Choose water, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
    • For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
    • Keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge instead of sweetened beverages.
    • Serve water with meals.
    • Make water more exciting by serving it cold, adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, serve chilled or drink sparkling water.
    • Aguas frescas are a great way to drink diluted juices—the flavors you love with fewer calories. See the Recipe below.
    • If you do serve juice, be sure it is 100% fruit juice and not a fruit drink.
    • When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8-oz. cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.
    • Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.

    Aguas Frescas: Recipe

    Six cups of water
    1 pound of Fruit (Cucumber, watermelon, melon, strawberry)
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    ¼ cup of your favorite herb EX mint, rosemary, basil (If you want to a little extra flavor)
    (For the healthiest recipe, do not add sugar. For a “sometimes,” sweeter drink, add 2-6 tablespoons of sugar)

    Blend 3 cups of water and all the fruit in a blender.
    Let the mixture sit and settle for a little while so the flavors can mix.
    Pour the blended mixture through a strainer, leaving just the liquid.
    Add the remaining water (3 cups), lime juice and (if you are adding it) sugar.

    Remember to use as little sugar as possible. Try to maximize the flavor and minimize the calories.

    Especially for Kids

    Infants and Hydration

    Until infants are 7-9 months of age it is best for infants to get most of their liquid from breast milk or formula because this helps ensure they receive adequate nutrition. However, they can drink small amounts of water, especially on very hot days. After they age of 7 months they can start to drink water from a bottle or cup.2

    Children and hydration

    Water is especially important for the bodies of children. Since children have more water in their bodies than adults, they need to drink more water for their body weight than adults.10 Children ages 1-3 years need 4 cups of water a day, and children 6-11 years need around 7 cups of water a day, just slightly less then adults.11 Most children will let you know when they are thirsty. However, thirst happens when the body’s water is already low, so try to encourage your children to drink regularly throughout the day, especially when playing outside. When in hot and dry climates or when out in the sun at the beach, it is especially important to encourage children to drink water.
    Children who participate in organized sports over the summer are especially at risk for overheating. Make sure your children get enough water to be fully hydrated a few hours before activities. Provide fluids and encourage them to drink small amounts often during the activities, and make sure they drink plenty of fluids after they finish any exercise.
    Children over the age of 2 should also drink up to 3 glasses of skim or 1% milk during the day; children 1-2 years old should drink whole milk.

    Fun Activities: Demonstrate Dehydration with Plants

    Show children the importance of water in their bodies by demonstrating what happens when you water a wilting plant. Certain plants like rosemary and peace lilies wilt easily when they dry out and return to their original shape quickly after watering. This gives children a clear image of the effect lack of water can have on a living thing and on their bodies 11.

    Fruits and Fruits Juices

    Fruits contain important vitamins and minerals for health. Many people value juice as a form of medicine. Fruit juice has its benefits, but fruit juice lacks the fiber contained in whole fruits and is less effective for relieving hunger. Children drinking lots of fruit juice may get too many calories and store the excess energy as extra pounds. In general, it is better to give a child whole fruit than to give fruit juice, and to provide water or low-fat milk if the child is thirsty.

    The recommended amount of juice for children each day is:
    • Ages 6 months to 1 year: infants do not need any juice at all.
    • Ages 1 to 5 years: Although whole fruit is preferable, children can be given up to 1/4 to 1/2 cup 100% juice a day.12

    On the “sometimes” occasions when you buy juice, remember to check the label carefully and buy 100% juice that is not sweetened. Some more tips to minimize juice drinking:
    • Always give juice in a cup, never in a bottle.
    • Do not let a child carry a cup of juice around the house or when playing.
    • Never give juice at bedtime.

    Summertime Hydration

    Your body also needs more water when you are—
    • In hot temperatures.
    • In dry and/or hot climates.
    • At high altitude

    The community-based "Vive tu Vida/Live your Life" campaign is sponsored by CHALK (Choosing Healthy & Active Lifestyles for Kids), a NYS Department of Health funded program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Ambulatory Care Network/Columbia University Medical Center Community Pediatrics.