By:Jill Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC
I have had several clients ask about alternative drinks to water. The best way to hydrate is water but if you want something else to drink, opt for water or sparkling water with some fruit slices, or lemon juice added for flavoring.
Q: “What is your opinion on Tonic Waters, Soda Water, Sparkling Waters, and Flavored Water?” -T.N.
A: “Great question! Essentially tonic water has added calories, sodium, and lots of sugar so not a good option. Soda water has no sugar or calories but does has added sodium, flavored water such as crystal light may have added calories and sodium. If you are watching your sodium intake for blood pressure, you will want to watch how many tonic waters, soda water, and flavored waters you have in a day. Flavored waters (especially those with sugar alcohols) can cause intestinal issues such a gas, bloating, and diarrhea if consumed too frequently. I would suggest drinking sparkling water and adding your own cucumber, orange, or lemon slices to it for flavor. Remember that any type of flavored water you buy will likely have preservatives/chemicals added for flavoring making less ideal than water/sparkling water Does this make sense? I have provided a breakdown for you below:
- Tonic water: 124 calories per 12 oz, 32 g sugar, 44mg sodium
- Soda water: 0 calories per 12 oz, 0g sugar, 75 mg sodium
- Flavored water/crystal light: 10 calories per packet, 0g sugar, 35 mg sodium
- Sparkling water: 0 calories, 0 g sugar, 0mg sodium (good for hydrating)
Remember, to tell if you are hydrated look at your urine, clear urine = hydrated, yellow = drink more water!