Staying well-hydrated can help you feel good and improve your mood.

Many people experience symptoms such as irritability and sluggishness when dehydrated; some also tend to overeat when thirsty.

When you do not drink enough water, concentration, coordination and endurance are compensated.

One simple way to tell if you are adequately hydrated is to check your urine. If urine is clear to pale yellow and you urinate at least four times a day, you are likely hydrated appropriately.

Whether you are working out or relaxing at home, water is the best choice for hydration. The goal for most people is eight ounces of water, eight times a day.

Exceptions to this rule are for athletes engaging in intense activity lasting more than an hour; sports drinks that replace electrolytes and replenish carbohydrates to fuel active muscles may be more appropriate, in addition to increased water intake.

Keep in mind, too many sports drinks can add extra, unnecessary calories and undermine the goal of physical activity.

When you drink juice, choose 100 percent fruit or vegetable products. Some juice drinks contain as little as 5 percent juice and almost as much sugar as a soft drink.

Read labels carefully and choose products which say 100 percent juice.

Even 100 percent juice can add extra calories quickly, so it is wise to limit juice consumption to eight ounces or less per day.

Milk tastes great when it is ice cold, and it’s refreshing. Milk contains protein, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which all help build strong muscles, bones and teeth.

Milk comes in fat-free, low-fat and lactose-free versions that contain the same nutrients with fewer calories. Almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk are also nutritious alternatives to regular milk.

Soft drinks contain an incredible amount of sugar per serving. A 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. A “super-sized” soda can have over 33 teaspoons of sugar and more than 500 calories!

Regular soft drinks have no nutrients and can add to weight gain through empty calories; in addition, soda can affect the appearance of your teeth and cause energy levels to fluctuate throughout the day.

To cut back on calories, replace soda will calorie-free beverages.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at

(1) comment


America's beverage companies agree we should all be mindful of the calories we consume from beverages, which is why we are providing more reduced-calorie options and calorie counts to help people make the choice that's right for them. We also support clear and understandable nutrition facts about foods and beverages and have voluntarily placed clear calorie labels on the front of the bottles and cans we produce.
With that said, it's important to keep sugar consumption in perspective. As CDC data confirms, soda contributes just 4% of calories in the American diet, and all sugar-sweetened beverages combined attribute just 6%. The same research shows foods - not beverages - are the number one source of sugars in the American diet. In other words, education that addresses overall dietary balance will continue to drive meaningful behavior change.

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