Rethink Your Drink

We have lots of choices these days for quenching our thirst. Some of them taste great, but aren’t always a good choice for our health.

Many drinks have added sugars and offer little or no health benefit. Others may have nutrients, but also too much fat and too many calories. Here are some tips to help you make better drink choices.

  1. Drink water
    Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually have a lot of added sugar. Drinks with sugar may give us more calories than needed.

  2. How much is enough?
    Water is needed for the body, but our needs differ. Most of us get the water we need from the foods we eat and from what we drink. A healthy body can balance water needs through the day. Drink plenty of water, especially if you are very active, live or work in hot areas, or are an older adult.

  3. A low-cost choice
    Water can be free. You can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or when eating out.

  4. Watch your calories
    Drink water with your meals and between them too. Adults and children take in about 400 calories per day as beverages. Drinking water can help you stay within the calories needs for your body.

  5. Kid-friendly drinks
    Make water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100% juice an easy option in your home. Have ready-to-go containers filled with water or healthy drinks cooling in the refrigerator. Place them in lunch boxes or backpacks to make it easy when kids are away from home. To help meet your fruit and veggie servings, children can drink ½ to 1 cup, and adults can drink up to 1 cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice each day.

  6. Don’t forget your dairy
    When you choose milk, pick low-fat or fat-free milk more often. Each type of milk offers the same key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. The number of calories is what is different. Older children, teens, and adults need 3 cups of milk per day. Children 4 to 8 years old need 2½ cups. Children 2 to 3 years old need 2 cups.

  7. Enjoy your drink
    You may have a certain drink you really like. Go ahead and enjoy it, but just cut back. Check the serving size and the number of servings in the can or bottle to stay within calorie needs. Choose smaller cans, cups, or glasses instead of large or supersized ones.

  8. Take it with you
    Water is always handy. Fill a clean, reusable water bottle. Toss it in your bag or tote to quench your thirst throughout the day.

  9. Read the label
    Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose beverages at the grocery store. The food label and ingredients list let you know about added sugars, fat, sodium, and calories. Then you are able to make better choices.

  10. Look at what you drink
    Food-A-Pedia is an example of a tool that can help you compare calories, added sugars, and fats in your favorite beverages.

Source: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, United States Department of Agriculture

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To learn more ways to live healthier, call Four Corners Health at 877-337-3573 or send an email to