One habit some people slide into over the summer is drinking sugary beverages — at picnics and barbecues, sports events or on-the-go.
Sugar-sweetened beverages like regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which provide more calories than needed. They can give you a quick burst of energy, but often leave you feeling tired, irritable and hungry soon after. And as parents and teachers know, tired and hungry kids can’t learn.
So what can we do about this? Try starting out with these simple changes:
Choose water instead of sports drinks. Kids and teens often rely on energy or sports drinks to stay hydrated and for extra energy for sports practice after school; however, water from the tap is an easy and thrifty option wherever you are. Keep reusable water bottles filled and in the fridge for on-the-go refreshment.
Flavor water with fruits, vegetables or herbs. For a tasty twist on plain water add cucumber, watermelon, berries, lemons, oranges, limes, mint, basil or rosemary. Or just use whatever fruits and vegetables you have on-hand.
Create a kid-friendly drink zone in your home. Keep a pitcher of ice cold water, seltzer, low-fat milk and 100 percent juice in the fridge to make it easy for kids to quench their thirst. Kids mirror their role models. Set a good example by enjoying healthy drinks yourself.
Drinking water can help you stay hydrated and energized throughout the day. With a few small changes, you too can make the healthy beverage choice the easy choice. Visit bit.ly/2sJITXm for more tips and recipes.
Maggie McHugh is a senior nutritionist with Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County.