What’s your go-to drink? If you often find yourself reaching for sugary drinks like fruit juices, soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavoured waters or cordial, it might be time to make a change. By making a simple switch to drinking water instead, you can set yourself on the path to better health – and your waistline, your teeth, your energy levels and your wallet will all thank you.
The H30 Challenge, presented by VicHealth, encourages you to make water your main beverage for 30 days. There are no set dates – you choose which 30 days suit you. Just replace every sugary drink you would normally have with water, and start to feel the difference to your health. The goal is to help make water your main beverage choice in the long term.
How much sugar is really in your drink?
Sugary drinks are the largest source of sugar in the Australian diet, leading to increased risk of weight gain and tooth decay. Making a simple switch to water is a great way to cut down on excess kilojoules and sugar, encouraging better health in a number of ways.
“Our message is clear; you can reduce your risk of life-threatening diseases by making small changes to your daily lifestyle,” says VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter. “While we encourage all Victorians to drink more water, there is a particular focus on 18 to 34 year-olds, who are some of the highest consumers of sugary drinks.”
You might be surprised to find out how much sugar is really in your usual beverages. Take a moment to check the nutrition label – as a general guide, you should look for items that contain less than 10 g of sugar per 100 ML.
“One 600mL bottle of regular soft drink can contain 16 teaspoons of sugar,” Ms Rechter says. “So if you drink one a day, that’s almost 23 kilograms of sugar a year.”
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are a few more reasons to make the switch…
- Sugary drinks produce an acid that eats away at the surface of your teeth for around 20 minutes.
- Each time you choose water over a soft drink you are reducing the amount of kilojoules put in your body, helping you to manage your weight.
- If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can reduce your risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
- Drinking tap water is practically free – think about the money you will save by switching your regular soft drink to water for 30 days.
For more information or to sign up for the H30 Challenge visit h30challenge.com.au