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Nutritional Wealth: Water, water everywhere
Mike Thompson mug
Mike Thompson

Gorgeous models swear by it as an essential piece of their beauty routine.

All top weight loss programs begin in part by guiding you to track and increase drinking water to lose pounds quickly. Water drinking aids in weight loss, restores natural energy, makes your skin look and function better and even clears your thinking according to the Center for Disease Control.

So why don’t you drink more water?

Advertising is a reason we drink other more damaging products. We love a good story and we love to dream. Big beverage companies who sell soft drinks, alcohol and fast-food love to weave a fantasy and create profits.

They are experts at making us want to drink their sweet product instead of natural water. Due to media magnification, we have gone from seeing about 500 ads a day in the 1970s to a current Forbes estimate of 4000 to 10000 advertising images a day. Many of the most exciting ads are for drinks. Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), diet drinks, juices, beer and alcohol are all dangerous with daily, heavy use. None of these are as vital as water. Just two individual soda brands spend over $500 million dollars each year while bottled water brands all together spend barely $10 million a year. All of us grew up with athletes and celebrities sexily selling sugar sweetened beverages. Promotion of sugary drinks by restaurants and vending machines surround us everywhere.

Though it is readily available, bottled water costs as much or more than pretty colored soda, reducing its attractiveness.

The odds seem stacked against us in the mental and behavioral game of fighting big beverage’s marketing powerhouse to improve our health.

But fight the marketing powers we must for your life’s sake and the lives of your kids and relatives.

The rewards are even sweeter than the drinks you avoid, and kings and queens for centuries would have gladly given up their kingdoms for the extra decades of active life we can earn.

You must figure out how to drink more water…and reduce your family’s sugar sweetened beverages intake.

Why the urgency?

The data is overwhelming. The US Department of Agriculture reports that per capita soft-drink consumption has increased by almost 500% in the past 50 years. Sugary drinks are a leading source of added sugars in the American diet.

Frequently consumption of sugary drinks is directly associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, liver disease and tooth decay among other maladies.

As a parent, if you do not teach and train your children to primarily drink water and shun SSBs, you are sentencing them to a likelihood of obesity and enhanced disease risk. CDC recommends encouraging your family to drink lots of water, limit sugary drinks as well as limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat. Yes, sugar is listed twice in their basic recommendations.

Chances are you may already be on the wrong path to disease. More than 65% of adult Americans are now overweight. More than 40% are obese meaning a medical problem that increases risk of other diseases and health problems. The top causes of death are associated with our daily intake of sugar.

To simplify this and flip the stacked odds in your favor, an informed devotion to drink water while replacing your sugar sweetened beverage intake can help you maintain a healthy weight, enjoy better general health, live longer, and raise much healthier kids.

Convinced? Try one or more of these easy methods: 

1. Have a glass of water each day when you get up. Plan to drink a glass before every meal.

2. Gift yourself a water bottle of 22 ounces or more. Use it where you live, work and play.

3. Give yourself an alarm for water. Set your phone or watch to go off each hour, reminding you to sip water.

4. Create your own drinking game. I’ve uh, been told that in the 80s there was a “Newhart Show” college game where every time someone said “Hi, Bob” everyone had to drink. Do this with water for your favorite show that has a catch phrase.

5. Every time someone says hi to you at your workplace, take a drink of water.

6. Assess your drinking habits including all coffee, soda, tea, energy drinks, juice, etc. Try to replace just one of these with a glass of water each day. If your drink is soda or sweet tea, watch the pounds melt as one bottle a day is 12-15 added pounds a year or 60 pounds total in five years.

7. Save money and purchase a home-based water filter like a Brita Pitcher. This saves hundreds of dollars a year vs. buying plastic bottled water and it helps protect the environment by replacing up to 1,800 single-use plastic water bottles a year.

Think about it. A devotion to water hydration with a plan is worth the hassle. It will save you a lot of money and give you a much healthier and happier life.

Mike Thompson is a health coach and writes about nutrition and amazing aging. He lives in Richmond Hill, is certified in exercise nutrition and founder of SelfCare Sustained. Reach him at MikeThompson@SelfCare-

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