Less soda, more water

By Rich Jackson

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages remains one of the clearest associations with obesity and diabetes, both in the U.S. and worldwide. However, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been slowly declining over the last decade, by about 25%, while consumption of bottled water has been slowly rising. Reported in the Wall Street Journal, in 2016, the consumption of bottled water exceeded that of carbonated beverages for the first time. Since sugar-sweetened beverages make up the largest portion of carbonated beverages, this is good news. Remember that non-carbonated beverages such as sports and fruit drinks also usually contain added sugars, and have no health benefits.

A few words about water. Bottled water is a $20 billion dollar industry driven only by marketing. Tap water quality is controlled by the EPA while the FDA oversees bottled water. The EPA has more stringent guidelines and requires several tests each day, while the FDA is looser and may check once a year. Sixteen ounces of tap water a day would cost 46 CENTS a year, while the same amount of bottled water would be at least 350 DOLLARS, plus deposit. Tap water is better quality, cheaper, and doesn’t produce tons of trash. See link below.

Another word about water. The bottled water industry, along with naive wellness experts, talk about the importance of hydration, and not getting dehydrated. This is absolutely not a concern most people, unless you are a professional level athlete or a frail older person. Your body’s sense of thirst is excellent, and your kidneys are very smart about keeping you hydrated. I’ve heard exercise physiologists talk to people about the importance of hydration and keeping their urine dilute, so that it is not dark colored. Again, having more concentrated urine is fine, your kidneys and your sense of thirst will take care of you. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day? There is no physiologic reason or need to do this, just more marketing by the bottled water industry. Clearly, if you are thirsty, or just wanting to drink something while you are working or commuting, water is fine. You really can’t hurt yourself by drinking more water, you just need to know that it isn’t necessary.

See Wall Street Journal report on consumption here.

Why tap water is a better choice than buying bottled water, see here.



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