How do I slash 100 calories from my diet without noticing? You probably think the answer to this question is to stop snacking, tweak portion sizes, swap pasta for zucchini, and so on.
But in actual fact, the answer is even easier: drink more water. According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, those who don’t drink water end up guzzling 100 extra calories a day from sugary beverages.
A team of US scientists analysed the consumption habits of 8,400 kids aged between two and 19, and after accounting for sociodemographic factors, they found one in five never drank water and were likely to drink sugary beverages – adding an extra 93 calories to their average daily caloric intake.
“What was kind of surprising was that one in five kids and teens didn’t consume any water at all, and those kids were consuming twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages than those kids who did drink water on any given day,” study author Dr. Asher Y. Rosinger, director of the water health and nutrition lab at Penn State University, told MarketWatch.
The study admits that its data doesn’t prove causality, as the participants were not asked their reasons for why they didn’t drink water or why they consumed more sugary drinks. However, it raises the concern that everyone, regardless of age, should drink water daily to help avoid consuming extra calories from sugar.
“Kids should drink water every day. If not, probably they’ll drink sugary beverages. An extra 3,500 calories equals to 1lb [0.5kg] of weight gain,” Rosinger said. “In a month you could gain 1lb [0.5kg]. Over several months, that adds up.”