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Here’s What Swapping One Soda a Day With Water Can Do for Your Health

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It’s not hard to drink several sugar-sweetened beverages a day. You might enjoy a sweetened coffee in the morning, a sugary soda or energy drink later in the day…maybe even some sweet tea with your meals.

However, the added calories from these beverages can increase your risk of weight gain and obesity. They’re also associated with the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

With this in mind, researchers took a look at what could happen if you replaced just one sugary beverage a day with water.

Replacing Just One Sugary Drink Each Day Can Help Boost Your Health

Using data from the 2007-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), the researchers found that this one-for-one drink swap could cut daily caloric intake and lower obesity rates in people who drink sugary beverages.

“We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent,” study co-author Kiyah J. Duffey said.

“Even those who consumed more sugary drinks per day could still benefit from water replacement, dropping the amount of calories coming from beverages to less than 25 percent of their daily caloric intake.”

The team also looked at something called Healthy Beverage Index (HBI) scores. This is a scoring system that evaluates individual beverage patterns in relationship to diet and health.

A higher HBI score is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, reduced chances of insulin and glucose issues and better cholesterol profiles.

Among adults who swapped out one sugary drink a day with water, their HBI scores increased up to 21 percent.

In addition to water, some alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages include unsweetened coffee and tea.

Sources:

Replacing just one sugary drink with water could significantly improve health. News Release. Virginia Tech. Aug 2016.

Duffey KJ, et al. The Healthy Beverage Index Is Associated with Reduced Cardiometabolic Risk in US Adults: A Preliminary Analysis. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Oct;115(10):1682-9.e2.

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