Tired of water? Here are an NFL dietitian’s healthy alternatives

“Drinking more water is the easiest way to improve your overall health,” according to Jordan Mazur, MS, RD, and a registered dietitian and director of nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers.

When he’s not fueling up NFL athletes, Mazur is authoring articles with nutritional guidelines to help everyday people perform at their best — so he knows what he’s talking about.

According to the diet professional, there are healthy alternatives for those of us tired of drinking the same old insipid water. From homemade fruit infusions to green tea, there are a lot to choose from.

“A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces every day — at a minimum,”Mazur said. “Of course, that’s easier said than done if you just don’t care for the taste.”

When water just seems too bland, many people flock to sugary drinks to sate their thirsts. Sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks are common choices, but they each come with a cost.

“Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) or sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet,” the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. “Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.”

Healthy alternatives to plain water do exist, however. Mazur reported fruit infusions are a great way to go. Simply add lemon, orange or cucumber slices to your water for a naturally sweet drink that doesn’t add unhealthy sugar or unwanted calories.

The NFL dietitian also suggested flavored seltzers, because they do not include any unwanted ingredients. Mazur pointed out the Polar Seltzer brand is a healthy option that contains only water, bubbles and natural flavors. Hint Water is another brand to consider. The company’s drinks do not include added sugar or sweeteners, but come in a variety of flavors like honeycrisp apple, mango-grapefruit and blood orange.

Those looking for a healthy alternative to help them kick their soda addiction can try sparkling water before moving to seltzer. Sparkling waters come with sweeteners but are not always unhealthy. Zevia Sparkling Water has zero calories and is sweetened with natural stevia.

Also consider trying unsweetened green tea. This drink is a great source of antioxidants, which improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.