“Liquid Lookout”

Mar 25, 2016 by Heather

Our KDH employees are about to embark on a 20-day Beverage BINGO challenge in April.  As their Wellness Coordinator, I offer our staff motivation through challenges to move more – sit less – reduce stress – and even drink more H2O.  This time around, I’m hoping our staff will take the plunge to consume more water, drink less sugary calories, and even add nutrients to the beverages they consume.  Bribing them with prizes like water bottles, a smoothie maker, and Splashin Safari tickets should help keep them on track as they check off their Bingo boxes.  J

I came up with this challenge because the liquids we consume can truly make or break us.  Not only can they impact our hydration levels, but they can have a positive or negative effect on our energy, our waistlines, and even disease risk.

Give thought to the beverages you consume on an average day?  Can you think of areas that might need improving?  It’s not uncommon for me to chat with someone who admits they can’t live without their sweet tea or their daily “supersize” soda(sss-plural).  Many people admit that they are not drinking the water they should be or they confess their need for liquid-energy (AKA “Energy drinks”) is burning a hole in their pocket book. 

As American’s we consume Liquid Sugar by the billions (ounces and dollars spent).  Sugary calories are typically considered “empty calories.”  I am not referring to a glass of milk that has protein, calcium, and Vitamin D or a homemade smoothie that could add a colorful "nutrient punch" with added fruits and vegetables.  But, think about a soda, sweet tea, lemonade, or fruit punch-type product that provides a big ZERO (0 vitamins, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of protein, 0 minerals).  They are good for our taste buds … and that’s about all they are good for.  Why do we continue to consume these by the gallon?

Think about Soda …

          It’s everywhere and convenient (vending machines, concession stands, restaurants, gas stations, and of course a full grocery store aisle filled with countless options).
          It’s a habit (and caffeine is addictive).
          It’s inexpensive.
          It can quench our thirst (rated “Yummy” by most).
          It’s marketable.  Companies spend billions to advertise their product to us. 

Do your research … Spend 10 minute Googling dangers of drinking sugary beverages and you might set down that Dew (think Mountain).  The research is alarming.  Read up on why our bodies need adequate water and the wonderful health benefits we get from old-fashioned H2O.  Another idea… Take a minute to be fortunate that our homes, offices, and schools have clean drinking water and I shouldn't take this for granted.  (I will count my blessings as I count my ounces consumed).

The next time you reach for a glass, cup, bottle, or travel mug – give thought to how your beverages are assisting or hurting your overall health and nutrition.

Until next time… CHEERS (a toast of sparkling water of course!) 

                                Heather Foy 
KDH Wellness Coordinator

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