The first step is to know your beverages. Some drinks may be better suited for you and your goals.
Water is the primary source of liquid you should be consuming in your day. It helps with muscle function, cognitive function, digestion, energy, and electrolyte balance. The #1 cause of daytime fatigue is dehydration, so ensuring you get enough water is going to increase your productivity dramatically.
Tips for consuming enough water are:
You should aim to drink more infused, naturally flavored water rather than fruit juices and juice drinks. Most fruit drinks contain added refined sugars which results in a higher calorie beverage.
Fruit juice is okay in limited amounts, however this shouldn’t be your only form of liquid in the day.
Then we have carbonated beverages. This includes carbonated water, diet soda, regular soda, and energy drinks. Carbonated and infused waters are generally quite healthy, whereas sodas, and energy drinks should try to be limited.
Soda and sweetened energy drinks contribute more sugar to the average diet than any other drink. Energy drinks also contain high levels of caffeine which can impact normal sleep patterns and blood pressure. So these should be limited.
Beverages with artificial and low-calorie sweeteners, such as diet pops, are fine to consume in moderation.
As for recovery and performance drinks, Gatorade and Powerade - these should be consumed only during or after exercise or in states of extreme dehydration. BUT these are very high in calories and sugar. A healthy alternative is mixing your water with BCAAs or an electrolyte powder.
There are a variety of ways you can have your coffee or teas, from plain to heavy on the creams and sugars.
Plain or black is your zero calorie option, however there are plenty of ways to make your beverage tasty without letting calories creep up.
Adding low calorie options such as unsweetened cashew milk, almond milk, stevia or sugar free syrups are a great way to add some flavor without going over your daily caloric needs.
Heavy creams and added sugars could potentially add 100’s of calories to your day without you even realizing it. These should try to be consumed in minimal amounts.
Just a note: Consuming too much coffee may stimulate anxiety and can disrupt sleep so be sure you are limiting total consumption to 2 to 3 cups per day.
This can include cows milk, nut milk, soy milk, oat milk etc.
All milks are a great source of calcium to be included in your diet. They can be added to things such as shakes, smoothies, baking, cream of rice etc.
Nut, soy and oat milks are a great alternative if you are lactose intolerant.
Unsweetened nut milks are going to be your lower calorie options - try to consume these more frequently.
Regular milk is generally your higher calorie option due to it being a good source of protein, and quick digesting carbohydrates. This makes it ideal for an individual looking to add weight and get in a quick source of calories.
Generally speaking one should try to consume 2.7L a day for women and 3.7L a day for men. This includes fluid from water, tea, milks, sodas etc.
Factors that may impact how much fluid you need. Many factors can impact how much liquid you need to consume such as, activity level, where you live, the temperature, your sodium intake, if you are 9-3 pregnant or breastfeeding, etc.
Make drink choices based on your goals and current habits. Don't worry about completely revamping your drinking habits overnight, and find a balance that works for you!