At Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, preventive care is a top priority. In fact, every Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health plan offers preventive care covered at 100%. Of course, one of the most important parts of your preventive care regimen is maintaining a healthy diet. As studies have shown over the last few years, drinking water is one of the simplest and healthiest things you can do to ensure you are giving your body what it needs for optimal functionality. If you’re like me, however, drinking enough water on a daily basis can be tough. Sure, while I’m at the gym or outside on a scorching hot day, I drink plenty of water without complaint. When I’m sitting at my desk or enjoying a nice dinner, however, I tend to have more difficulty choosing a glass of water over some other tastier beverage.
Since we know drinking water is important, how can we incorporate more water into our diets without sacrificing the pleasure of drinking other things? One way is to add a little sparkle to your H2O. Sparkling water is a surprisingly smart substitute for still water and provides all of the same health benefits without adding a lot of other unhealthy things, like sugar or dye. Not to be mistaken for tonic water, which may have added sugar or sodium, sparkling water is much healthier than you might think. It’s sugar-free and calorie-free and it hydrates as much as regular water.
In the past, there have been questions as to whether or not sparkling water is really good for you and there have been accusations that it erodes tooth enamel, saps calcium from bones and can cause stomach problems. According to nutritionist Keri Gans, RDN, CND, however, “Sparkling water is just as hydrating [as still water]. All it is is added carbonation.” Furthermore, although there are things, such as caffeine, in regular soda that deplete calcium, carbonation is not one of them. In fact, senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Kristi King, notes the following: “There’s a myth out there about carbonation leaching calcium from the bones… but the research is just not there.” You may be also be surprised to learn that a recent study done by The Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank sparkling water instead of still water had lower percentages of heart disease than other women.
Bottom line: Sparkling water is a good substitute for still water and can be a great way to make sure you are getting in your eight glasses a day. Watch out, however, for imposters as not all sparkling water beverages are simply water. Some have added sugar, sodium and calories so read the label carefully! Also, if you experience adverse side effects, such as bloating or stomach discomfort, you may want to stick with still water instead. As always, before making any major changes to your health or fitness routine, consult your doctor to determine if you are on the right path.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is committed to the health and well-being of North Carolina residents and drinking enough water is a vital part of preventive care. Our bodies need water to survive and sparkling water is simply another way to make sure your body is getting all the water it needs.
For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov to apply for your subsidy, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents. Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.