With the long, view hot days of summer right around the corner, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. Water is a nutrient most of us take for granted, but when it comes to staying healthy, water is critical. The team of nutritionists at GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets are providing an overview of the different types of waters now available on store shelves along with helpful tips to keep you and your family properly hydrated this summer.
In recent years the beverage aisle has exploded with all different kinds of bottled water from mineral and sparkling to flavored and artesian waters. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has standards for bottled water, making it one of the most heavily regulated food and beverage products so read the label. For example bottled water that claims to be “natural” must be minimally processed with no artificial or synthetic additives. Keep these different types of water in mind when making your choice in the beverage aisle:
· Artesian water, ground water, spring water or well water comes from an underground aquifer (an underground layer of rock or sand with water above it) which may or may not be treated. Well water and artesian water are tapped through a well. Spring water is collected as it flows to the surface. Ground water can be either.
· Distilled water is steam from boiling water that is re-condensed and bottled. Distilling water kills microbes and removes water’s natural minerals, giving it a flat taste.
· Mineral water must come from a protected underground source that naturally contains at least 250 parts per million (ppm) of total dissolved solids (minerals). No minerals can be added. Water that contains less than 500 ppm (or more than 1,500) total dissolved solids must state “low mineral content” (or “high mineral content”) on the label.
· Purified water or demineralized water is essentially free of all chemicals and may also be free of microbes if treated by distillation or reverse osmosis. Purified water may alternately be labeled according to how it is treated and contains no added substances.
No matter what water you choose, GIANT/MARTIN’S nutritionists remind you to make sure you stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day before you feel thirsty. Try incorporating some of these other tips into your summer routine:
- Make it a point of taking in fluids first thing in the morning. Be proactive and drink beverages with all of your meals, before your thirst mechanism tells you that you’re getting dehydrated.
- Older people and those who exercise outdoors are most at risk for dehydration. Early symptoms include fatigue, weakness, lethargy, sunken eyes, dizziness or headaches.
- As you get older, you may not get thirsty as often as you used to, but your water needs are just as great. Regardless of your age and thirst, you should take in at least eight cups of fluids every day, with at least four as water.
- Carry a water bottle around to remind you to drink more often and help keep track of how much you have consumed.
- Flavored seltzer water can also be a great alternative to soda. Try incorporating 100% cranberry juice and a lime wedge with your favorite seltzer for a new twist on a refreshing beverage!
- Move away from a full glass of 100% pure juices or sugar-sweetened lemonade or iced tea. Instead, add a splash of juice or cut fruit to your water for different flavors.
In addition most fruits and vegetables are made up of more than 80% water so include a variety of produce in your diet every day to help with staying adequately hydrated. With the summer growing season nearing its peak, there is plenty of locally grown produce available at your local GIANT/MARTIN’S to quench your thirst:
- Cucumbers are made up mostly of water and taste great when they are extra crunchy.
- Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods and is perfect for those hot summer days when you need to replenish your body.
- Lettuce contains more than 90% water. So not only do green salads make for a delicious appetizer, snack or lunch, but they also keep you hydrated.
- Celery is low in calories and more than 90% water!
- Other fruits such as berries and citrus are hydrating too so aim for variety and lots of color in your diet!