On these hot summer days, it is important to drink lots of water. Water helps keep our body temperature normal and helps us remain focused on our daily tasks.
 
You can try these four easy and fun tips to consume more water at home:
Add flavor with a few slices of different fruits, veggies, or herbs like mint, lavender or basil.
 
Flavor your ice: Freeze mashed fruit, 100 percent juice, and/or herbs in an ice tray to add to your water.
 
Keep a pitcher of infused water with your favorite flavors in the fridge for easy access. This helps keeps your water nice and cold.
 
Try keeping a refillable water bottle on hand to track water your consumption throughout the day. Add ice to your water bottle for cold water while you are out and about.
 
Many refillable water bottles are now insulated to keep water cold all day long. Some of our favorite infused water combinations at Oregon State University Extension Service are blueberry mint, orange basil and kiwi lime. It is fun and easy to experiment with new flavor combinations!
 
The USDA recommends these three beverages for a healthy lifestyle: Water, fat free or 1 percent milk, and 100 percent juice, with water being the best option. Other beverages such as soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and sweetened teas often have a lot of added sugar.
 
One-way to calculate just how many teaspoons of added sugar are in your drink is to divide the number of grams listed on the nutrition label by four. For example, if your beverage has 32 grams of sugar, you can divide by four to see that your drink contains eight teaspoons of sugar, which is equivalent to eight sugar cubes. The USDA recommends we only consume six teaspoons of sugar a day including natural sugars in fruits. It is easy to reach six teaspoons in just one sugary drink. You can start to make small changes by adding flavor to your refillable water bottle and replacing sugary drinks with no-sugar-added fizzy drinks.
 
OSU Extension Service will be at Mercado del Valle on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 4-6 p.m. in Odell, featuring blueberry mint and orange basil flavored water. Come check it out and vote on your favorite flavor!
 
You can check out different flavored water ideas at www.foodhero.org.

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