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Registered Dietician's advice on what you should be drinking

As a person who is a firm believer in drinking 2-3L of water everyday, I am the first to admit water can get kind of boring.  As there are always rumors swirling about artificial sweeteners, what is acceptable, what poses health threats and etc.  I sought out the advice of one of my Zumba class participants, Registered Dietician Erika Renick of Staten Island University Hospital.

What I asked Erika specifically, was her opinion on artificially sweetened diet drinks and things like Crystal Light which can taste pretty good, and leads me to believe they might be too good to be true.  Here’s what she had to say about it.

“I always push for water, but I know that realistically, people get kind of
sick of it.  If someone is a frequent soda/juice/fruit punch drinker, I’ll urge them to
step down to the Crystal Light as a low-cal option instead, but to also
try to add more water.

The catch is that some research is showing that when you drink
artificially-sweetened beverages on an empty stomach, it can lead to more
calorie intake later on in the day.  The body knows it’s being tricked – it
knows it’s getting sweetness w/o calories, so it’ll crave more calories
later in the day.  So I encourage patients to drink artificially-sweetened
drinks around meal and snack times and to stick with water throughout the
day.”

Want more information? Check out these two published research articles Erika included with her response linking artificial sweeteners to long term weight gain:

Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long term weight gain.

Can sugar substitutes make you fat?

What’s the conclusion? I’ll be sticking to water and occasionally indulging in some juice if I absolutely must-however when I do I will surely be counting the juice as a fruit serving and factor the calories into my daily intake.   For flavor cravings without the extra calories though- tea is a great alternative, hot or iced, there are many flavored teas, caffeinated or non.  Add a little lemon and there you go-water doesn’t have to be so boring!

Registered Dietician's advice on what you should be drinking