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.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

War Over Soda


The war over soda: New study 

finds link between carbonated

 drinks, higher risk of heart 


Read later list

Next time you are thirsty and pop into your local convenience store to buy a drink, choose carefully. Yet another study has found links between soda and negative effects on your health.
This one is large — involving data from 800,000 people in Japan — and looked at cardiac risk. Researchers found that the more money people spent on carbonated beverages, the more likely they were to suffer from heart attacks of cardiac origin outside of a hospital.
The study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, found that spending on other types of beverages — including green tea, black tea, coffee, cocoa, fruit or vegetable juice, fermented milk beverage, milk and mineral water — didn't appear to lead to the same risk.
Keijiro Saku, a study author and professor of cardiology at Fukuoka University, theorized that "the acid in carbonated beverages might play an important role in this association."
The battle over sugary drinks has come to a head in recent months with dueling studies and public health messaging campaigns about what soda does to your body.
In March, researchers quantified what diet soda does to your waistline, calculating that those who consumed daily and occasional diet soda were linked to nearly three times as much belly fat as those who didn't consume the drinks. In June, after a study in the journal Circulation by Tufts University researchers estimated that sugary beverages are responsible for 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 from cancer, many doctors warned that people should cut down on those drinks.
In July, a former pharmacist's graphic representation on a blog of what happens to your body one hour after you drink a can of Coca-Cola went viral — spurring heated discussion about the accuracy of the analysis and the possible dangers of drinking too much soda.
Coca-Cola has been fighting back through a nonprofit that funds medical research with the message that it is not diet but lack of exercise that is to blame for America's obesity epidemic.
Saku emphasized that in the Japan study the researchers used expenditures on carbonated beverages as a proxy for consumption and that there was no way to determine a causal link.  He said in an e-mail that the data was also limited because it did not contain information about the type of carbonated beverage purchased — whether it was a sugary soda like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, or mineral water like Perrier.
"Since this detailed information is not available in Japan, a large-scale population-based cohort study will be needed, but we think it is a very good evidence to warning children" to reduce intake of beverages like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc., he said.
The American Beverage Association, which represents America's non-alcoholic beverage industry, emphasized in a statement that "the researchers themselves admit that there is not sufficient evidence to make a causal link between carbonated beverages and heart attacks."
“There are numerous factors that contribute to heart attacks," the group said. "No single food, beverage or ingredient causes heart disease — or any other adverse health outcomes.”
This post has been updated.

Ariana Eunjung Cha is a national reporter. She has previously served as the Post's bureau chief in Shanghai and San Francisco, and as a correspondent in Baghdad.