Hydrate Well Challenge Support

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

Click here to access and print the 4-week Hydrate Well Challenge

Many of us start the day by drinking coffee and juice. Later in the day we might drink soda, diet soda, energy drinks, sports beverages, and smoothies. It is important to get your calories from food rather than beverages. Keeping your body well hydrated means drinking water throughout the day. For most adults that means eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. 

 

The amount of water you need can vary based on:

 

  • Physical activity levels

  • The environment and weather

  • Stress

 

Be proactive about drinking more water during the day while moderating consumption of coffee and alcohol and minimizing the consumption of sweetened beverages.

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Week 1: Drink More Water

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"Drinking water is like washing out your insides.” Kevin R. Stone

Water is the body’s principal chemical component and every system in your body depends on liquids to function properly. It’s magic washes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Water is the healthiest drink of choice.

 

Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily:

 

  • Flavor water with fruits, vegetables, herbs & spices:

    • Watermelon + Mint

    • Cucumber + Lime

    • Apple + Cinnamon Stick

  • Mix sparkling water with a splash of juice

  • Use an infused water bottle to add fruit to your water

  • Bring a water bottle when you drive

  • Read labels to discover new bottled waters without added sugar

 

By focusing on drinking more water you may find that you are minimizing other liquids. Use your Challenge Sheet to record the amount of water and all liquids that you consumed throughout the week.

Bonus Activity:  

  • Plan to drink a glass of water before your morning coffee or tea

  • Plan to bring a water bottle with you to work, when you drive, while running errands, at the gym…always

  • Identify your favorite sparkling or infused water

  • Identify a favorite “Pick-me-Up” and a “Time-to-Relax” herbal tea

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“By the time you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” Anonymous

Week 2: Minimize Sweet Drinks

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"Sugar and acid in soft drinks easily dissolve tooth enamel.” Marion Nestle

The human digestive system is not designed for drinking calories. Many fruit juices, sodas, sports beverages, and energy drinks exceed the daily added-sugar recommendation or add significantly to your sugar intake. Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks also have negative health consequences.

 

  • Eat the fruit — don’t drink the juice

  • Minimize or avoid all drinks with added sugar or sugar equivalents

  • Choose plain milks: dairy, soy, almond, coconut

  • Choose unsweetened coffee and teas

  • Minimize or avoid drinks that contain artificial sweeteners

  • Replace sweetened sodas with carbonated water

 

Focus on minimizing all sugar-sweetened drinks. Use your Challenge Sheet to record the amount of water and all liquids that you consumed throughout the week. 

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“Have you ever wondered why so many football players are taken off the field week in and week out because of dehydration when the sidelines are littered with sports drinks?" Anonymous

Week 3: Moderate Coffee and Alcohol

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“Coffee – is the favorite drink of the civilized world.” Thomas Jefferson

Coffee and alcohol have benefits as well as risks:

  • Pace your caffeine drinks throughout the day and make your 4th cup your last

  • Minimize added sugar in your coffee

  • Avoid caffeine 6 hours prior to bedtime

  • Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation*

  • For a sound sleep, avoid alcoholic beverages late in the evening and near bedtime

 

*1 drink for women, and men older than 65, 2 drinks for men 65 and younger

 

Focus on moderating your consumption of caffeine and alcohol and minimizing sugar-sweetened drinks. Use your Challenge Sheet to record the amount of water and all liquids that you consumed throughout the week.

"Drink the first. Sip the second slowly. Skip the third.” Knute Rockne

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Week 4: Add Other Healthy Beverages

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“Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.” Alice Walker

Add other healthy beverages to vary your options and Hydrate Well.

 

  • Plain milks are a good source of calcium and protein — dairy, soy, almond, rice, oat

  • Herbal teas contain antioxidants and come in a variety of flavors

  • Unsweetened iced teas are refreshing and healthy

  • Blend ice with a small amount of 100% juice for a refreshing drink

  • Enjoy an occasional green vegetable smoothie

 

This is a week, experiment with these other healthy beverages and incorporate all of your new healthy hydration habits. Focus on identifying and enjoying healthy teas and milks, moderating your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and minimizing all sugar-sweetened drinks.

 

Many beverages that support sleep are healthy beverages you can enjoy throughout the day. Use your Challenge Sheet to record the amount of water and all liquids that you consumed throughout the week.

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Congratulations!

 

You have discovered new ways to Hydrate Well by maximizing water intake, minimizing sugar-sweetened beverages, moderating caffeine and alcohol, and consuming other healthy beverages. You are putting into practice new approaches to Healthy Hydration. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, examined your habits, read the articles and watched videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to improve your drinking patterns moving forward. After 4 weeks, you have been challenged to find new ways to Hydrate Well. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet to make your new habits part of everyday living.

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“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water” W. H. Auden

Click here to access and print the 4-week Hydrate Well Challenge.

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