Simple Tips for Healthy Hydration + a DIY Sparkling Water Bar

Love the idea of making small health changes that deliver lasting results, but don’t know where to begin? Start with these simple tips for healthy hydration, inspired by the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, then put them into practice with your own DIY Sparkling Water Bar!

Fun and festive party idea! DIY Sparkling Water Bar | Sponsored by Nestle Waters at The Spicy RDThank you to Nestlé Waters for sponsoring this post on healthy hydration. All text and opinions are my own, and, as always, I only work with brands whose products I personally use, and recommend to my clients.Get my simple tips for healthier hydration + ideas for making your own DIY Sparkling Water Bar | Sponsored by Nestle Waters at The Spicy RDAlthough I can thank my parents for my healthy hydration habits by making water the number one drink of choice at our house growing up, I empathize with my clients who, for various reasons, have a hard time swapping their sugar sweetened drinks of choice for water, or other unsweetened or low sugar beverages.

However, with the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending we ALL limit our calories from added sugar to 10% or less of daily calories {yay for this recommendation!}, drinking water in place of sugar sweetened beverages is a great place to start, as research shows that sugar sweetened drinks are the biggest contributors, at 47%, of added sugars in the U.S. diet.

This is important because sugar sweetened beverages provide little to no nutrients, while providing an excess of calories contributing to obesity and/or chronic disease. Indeed it’s estimated that almost 1/2 of all Americans have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to their diet and inactivity.

In addition to the recommendation to cut added sugars down to no more than 10 % of calories*, another one of my favorite recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is to “follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.” All food and beverage choices matter, yes, but what’s most important are the healthy, sustainable food and beverage choices you regularly make over the long term, so keep this in mind as you work on making healthier beverage choices that deliver lasting health results.

*Note: 10% of 2000 calories, an average daily caloric intake, is 200 calories OR 50 grams OR 12 1/2 teaspoons of sugar per day. The average 12 oz sweetened soda has ~10 teaspoons of sugar per can, so even one can per day leaves very little wiggle room for any additional treats!This Sparkling Water with Blueberries, Blood Oranges, and Basil is a delicious way to hydrate healthier! | Sponsored by Nestle Waters at The Spicy RD

Simple Tips for Healthy Hydration

KEEP TRACK The first step in uping your healthy hydration game, is to learn not only how much sugar you’re consuming daily from sweetened beverages {including not only soda, but coffee, tea, juice, and sports drinks as well}, but also how much added sugar you’re consuming overall. One of the easiest ways to do this, is to record your beverage and food intake for a week or two using a calorie tracker such as Calio, My Fitness Pal, or your favorite app. Once you know your average daily intake, write it down, and come up with a REALISTIC plan to cut back your total added sugar intake. Check out the rest of my tips below to help get you started…

SMALL CHANGES Some people can go cold turkey when giving up sugar sweetened beverages, but many can’t. If you fall in the latter category, start by swapping ONE sugar sweetened beverage per day with a similar unsweetened beverage for 1 month. For example…

  • Swap soda for sparkling water.
  • Swap sweetened ice tea for unsweetened ice tea.
  • Swap coffee w/ milk and sugar for coffee with plain milk.
  • Swap tea w/ honey for an unsweetened fruity/spiced herbal tea.

GO HALFSIES If the idea of drinking a beverage 100% unsweetened makes you crabby, try cutting the sugar back in half to start. Ideas include…

  • Swap 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee or tea with one.
  • Swap 12 ounces of soda {the typical serving in 1 can} for 6 ounces of soda + 6 ounces of sparkling water.
  • Mix 4 ounces of fruit juice w/ 4 ounces of sparkling water in place of a standard 8 ounce glass of juice.

RE-EVALUATE Congratulations! You’ve taken the first steps towards a lifetime of healthy hydration, but don’t stop here {unless you’ve already gone cold turkey}. After 1 month, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your progress by monitoring your new daily added sugar intake, and decide if you’re ready to cut back even further {a realistic long term goal might be to make water or other unsweetened beverages your drink of choice 80-90 % of the time} or wait another month before cutting back even more, remembering the ultimate goal is a healthy eating pattern you can follow long term across your lifespan!

CELEBRATE This is the fun part! Thanks to my dad who makes regular trips to Costco, my pantry is always stocked with my favorite sparkling water, Pellegrino. And, although I usually enjoy a glass or two, unadorned, with dinner, I thought it would be fun to put together this DIY Sparkling Water Bar, and celebrate your success with you!Get my healthy hydration tips + ideas for making your own DIY Sparkling Water Bar! | Sponsored by Nestle Waters at The Spicy RDTreat yourself, your family, and friends to this fun and festive DIY Sparkling Water Bar for a kid’s birthday bash, a baby shower or brunch, or to serve as an alcohol free alternative at your next party. This DIY Sparkling Water Bar is super easy to assemble, so have fun and let your creative juices start flowing!Make your own DIY Sparkling Water Bar for a fun and festive party idea! | Sponsored by Nestle Waters at The Spicy RD

What You’ll Need for your DIY Sparkling Water Bar

  1. San Pellegrino, Perrier, or your favorite chilled sparkling water, of course!
  2. Fresh fruit {i.e. oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, melon…}
  3. Fresh herbs {mint, basil, rosemary…}
  4. {Optional} Fresh squeezed juice. For just a hint of sweet add 1-2 tablespoons orange/grapefruit/pomegranate/or other juice.
  5. {Optional} Flavor extracts such as 1 teaspoon pure vanilla/peppermint/coconut or other pure flavor extract.
  6. Glassware. Break out your favorite crystal, or mason jars are fun for a kid-friendly party!
  7. Straws, Swizzle Sticks, & other bling! Vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and lemongrass are fun and festive swizzle stick ideas!
  8. {Optional} A muddler to enhance the flavor of your fresh fruit and herbs.

4 DIY Sparkling Water Bar Combinations to Try

  • Sparkling Water + Fresh Raspberries + Lime Wedges + Pure Vanilla Extract + 1 Vanilla Bean “swizzle stick”
  • Sparkling Water + Fresh Blueberries + Blood Orange Wedges + Fresh Basil
  • Sparkling Water + Fresh Mint + Grapefruit Slices + Peppermint Extract
  • Sparkling Water + Fresh Pineapple + Lemon Wedges + 1 Lemon Grass ‘Swizzle Stick”

This Blueberry, Blood Orange, Basil Sparkling Water Mix is a healthy way to stay hydrated! | Sponsored by Nestle Waters at The Spicy RD

I love hearing from you, so leave a comment, share a tip, or ask a question! And, if you think your friends would enjoy this post, I’d truly appreciate you sharing it with them too!

What are your favorite healthy hydration tips? Do you know how much added sugar you regularly consume? Any challenges you have if you’re trying to hydrate healthier? Any other favorite tips for cutting back on added sugar? Please share!

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  1. Love this idea and the different flavor combinations you came up with! Fun and creative. 🙂

  2. I love this! I’m having a clothing swap party in a few weeks and this is such a great idea to do!

  3. Great ideas! Those drinks look beautiful and delicious!!

  4. EA- this is awesome! I love this water and you are reading my mind, I’m parched right now! Great photos- can you please please please send me your awesome talents hah!

  5. Great tips and I love all your flavor combos – and pretty pics of course!

  6. These look so pretty and I love all the combinations you came up with!

  7. Love love this post! I always have a case of San Pellagrino in my house -got to try all the flavor combos now 🙂

  8. OMG! I love, love, love this! I’d be in heaven to find a DIY sparking water bar at a party!

  9. It’s amazing how many calories you can put down drinking soda, gatorade or juice all day. Cheers for raising awareness of this important subject!

  10. This is such a great post filled with many informative and practical tips! I struggle to keep up my water intake, especially on busy work days. I’ve started drinking a lot of flavored seltzer because it makes me feel like I’m drinking soda. I love the idea of a sparkling water bar- all of that beautiful fruit makes the water look so enticing!


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