Healthy Drinks for College Students

Eating right and staying hydrated can be difficult for the average college student. It can be hard to remember to take care of yourself when dealing with the stress of a busy schedule. Here are some healthy drinks that you can start incorporating into your everyday diet to start improving your overall health.

Water

It’s no secret that water is the healthiest beverage that you can drink. However, many of us struggle to drink as much water as we need to maintain proper hydration. The Mayo Clinic estimates that men should drink about 15.5 cups of water a day and women should drink about 11.5 cups of water a day. Maintaining hydration is important because even mild dehydration can impair energy levels, mood, and reduce overall memory and brain performance.

Natural, plain water is obviously the best thing one can drink since it has no additives or artificial sweeteners, but not everyone can handle the taste of plain water. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to drink plain water, consider trying these alternatives:

Flavored Water

Adding a flavored water enhancer to your glass of water helps make the taste of your water more palatable. You can find flavored water enhancers at your local grocery store or online in packets or small squeeze bottles. As with anything, it is important to remember to use these in moderation.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a great beverage if you’re looking to stay hydrated, but want a break from just drinking water. Coconut water is naturally sweet and contains several nutrients and minerals. According to Healthline, coconut water has several additional health benefits and may even have antioxidant properties.

Carbonated Water

In recent years, carbonated water has gained popularity. Brands like LaCroix and Bubly have become staples in many households. Sparkling water or seltzer water is a healthier alternative to soda for those that crave carbonated beverages. There are even inventions like the SodaStream that allow you to make your own carbonated drinks at home. 

According to an article published by The New York Times, carbonated water is actually just as hydrating as regular water. The only downside to water that has been carbonated is that it is more acidic than regular water.

Juice

Fruit juices offer several health benefits and contain various antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of certain health issues. For example, orange juice is a very good source of Vitamin C. The Vitamin C that is found in orange juice can help protect against certain health issues and may be able to reduce your risk of developing certain health problems.

If you’re looking to increase your potassium, consider adding a glass of tomato juice into your daily diet. Tomato juice is known to be high in potassium. Potassium is good for decreasing blood pressure and increasing your potassium intake might reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

It is important to note that some fruit juices can be high in sugar and calories, so remember to limit your consumption. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that individuals aged 7 years old and above should consume around 8 ounces of fruit juice per day. For a list of more fruit juices and their benefits, check out this article from Medical News Today.

Green Tea

Green tea is actually one of the healthiest beverages that you can consume. Green tea is known to be rich in natural antioxidants and polyphenols that can help to slow down aging and protect cells from toxins. Green tea also contains fluoride, which strengthens teeth. Fluoride helps reduce the risk of tooth decay.

According to Today.com, drinking tea may improve your health. Many teas contain antioxidants and often have less caffeine than coffee. The nutrients and minerals found in some teas may also help protect your bones and boost your immune system. Regardless of if you prefer to drink hot tea or iced tea, drinking tea in any form might give you some added health benefits.

At the end of the day, nothing can replace the health benefits of drinking natural plain water. Even if you really can’t stand to drink water by itself, it’s good to drink at least a couple glasses of cold water a day. 

It is also important to be mindful of the beverages that you choose to consume. There are a lot of drinks out there, like some sports drinks, that claim to be healthy by helping to improve hydration. Many of these drinks contain added sugars that can be harmful when consumed in large quantities. Consuming too much added sugar can lead to health problems over time, like type 2 diabetes.

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