The most widely consumed beverages, in order of preference, are coffee, sodas, diet sodas, milk, alcoholic beverages, carbonated fruit drinks, and teas.  Where is water on this list?

There are many reasons to add water to your beverage list, and bump it all the way to the top.  Probably the best reason to make water your #1 beverage is that very few of the alternative liquids are good for you.

We are all now familiar with the many and varied problems associated with each of the drinks in the above list, not the least of which are empty calories and artificial chemicals. (Read The Facts About Artificial Sweeteners) Years ago, I stopped drinking almost all drinks containing calories and switched to diet products.  I didn’t want to waste precious calories guzzling down a soda; I much prefer to eat my calories!

Now, with the new-found knowledge of artificial sweeteners, I have taken it one step further and switched almost entirely to water or healthy tea.  If your tap water is good and clean, and luckily it is for most of us, then there’s no need to spend money on bottled water.  Either tap or bottled, add a slice of lemon or lime, and for me it’s preferable to fancy, expensive bottled versions.

Added bonuses!

  • Lose Weight: If you did nothing else but give us your caloric sodas and drinks, and substituted water, you could easily lose ten to fifteen pounds over the next year.
  • Help the Earth: The amount of glass and aluminum that goes into the landfill will be drastically cut, even from just one person or family.
  • Be Healthier: You’ll reduce the amounts of addictive caffeine, sugar and artificial sweeteners and be healthier all around.  Remember your children too…they don’t need the sugar or chemicals at such an early age.
  • Save Money: You’ll save money big time!  Most restaurants and fast food joints nowadays charge up to $2.50 for a glass of soda. When the five of us in our family go out to eat, that’s $12.50 + tax just on drinks!  Multiply this by 12 months and you’ll save $150 a year on drinks alone if you only eat out once a month.

One word of warning. Years ago, I gave up caffeinated coffee and drinks after taking the advise of my doctor (although I do drink coffee now in moderation). I stopped cold turkey, and didn’t equate purging addictive caffeine from my system with the horrible headaches that I got. In fact, I took Excedrin for the migraines, and later learned that Excedrin contains caffeine!


If you do decide to rid caffeine from your body, taper off so you won’t experience the physical and psychological hazards of stopping this addictive drink. Quitting suddenly can cause typical withdrawal symptoms of migraine headaches, depression, and nausea. Have one less cup of coffee, or mix 1/2 caffeine and 1/2 decaf coffee, the first week. Half again the second, then the third week. You should be caffeine free by the third week. (Remember that decaf also has small amounts of caffeine.)