SlimFast Plan Consultant and Registered Dietitian, Maryann Walsh helps clear up questions about what beverages can help hydration.
It is safe to assume most people know how important it is to stay hydrated, but as a Registered Dietitian I often hear many individuals say that they believe the only way to stay hydrated is by drinking lots of water. There are numerous infographics and social media posts circulating the internet stating this as fact. However, you should always check the source when getting information from the internet and question if it is coming from a credible source with a health or science background.
Coffee and tea lovers rejoice! Coffee and tea usually get a bad reputation when it comes to hydration due to their diuretic effect but in fact, those options can contribute to our daily fluid requirements. The diuretic effect that comes along with drinking coffee and tea beverages means that even though you’re consuming liquids, you’re also making more trips to the restroom and losing some fluid in the process. But how much are you actually losing? Well, research shows that even if you consume 4 cups a day it can provide you with the hydration effects similar to water!1, 2
Now that we debunked the coffee and tea myth, the big question is “what else can count towards my water intake?” The truth is various beverages and food can contribute. There’s no difference in how water hydrates you if you are drinking it on its own or if it’s a component of something else.
Drinks other than plain water such as milk, ready-to-drink shakes (such as SlimFast), sparkling water, iced tea, and sports drinks can all contribute to your daily fluid needs. However, some may add extra calories than others so keep that in mind if your goal is weight loss.
Eating fruits and vegetables with high water content can provide you with supplemental fluid - so keep that in mind next time you bite into a fresh salad! Fruits and vegetables with the largest water content include melons, cucumbers, pineapples, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and broccoli.
Some key points to keep in mind:
- The higher the dose of caffeine the more of a diuretic effect.
- Keep an eye on your urine. The goal is to have pale yellow urine. If your urine is a darker yellow or amber color, incorporate more water into your day.
- Certain supplements can cause urine to be a darker yellow color. If you are on any medications, have any health conditions or if you have concerns about what your individual water needs are, then definitely check with your doctor before starting any supplement or making any dietary changes.
- It’s important to always listen to your internal body cues and drink when you feel thirsty.
Good ole’ H20 will always hold a top spot among the best beverages for overall health, thanks to it being naturally calorie-free and sugar-free. Just remember that when it comes to hydration and reaching your fluid needs, various drinks and foods can be part of the equation.
Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, LDN
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A consultant of the SlimFast Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Master of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.