Coming into college, I knew that I was ultimately responsible for my own nutrition and taking care of myself. Before I left home, my parents stressed the importance of eating vegetables and taking vitamins, but didn't put the same amount of emphasis on what liquids I should have. However, I've definitely felt a difference when I put healthy fluids in my body as opposed to drinks full of sugars and artificial syrup. Below are a few of my favorite healthy drink options that I have during meals or just throughout the day.
The most obvious healthy drinking fluid, water is something you should have several times throughout the day. Though water can be bland sometimes, you can encourage yourself to drink more of it by carrying a cute water bottle with you to class (being in college, you'll get a ton of stickers around campus you can slap on to help with this). After all, when water is always around you and is your only option, you'll be more inclined to drink it over sweet sodas and juices.
As a college student, you'll be having many early classes across campus and lots of late nights just doing homework. Coffee is a great drink to have if you need a caffeine boost and want something different. It also really helps if you have a coffee machine in your room, so you can brew your own preferred roast while saving money by not having to run to the campus cafe everyday. Of course, don't go crazy with this beverage, as drinking coffee in large amounts can cause anxiety and messes up your sleeping schedule.
Drinking tea is another way you can get your caffeine in. Earl gray and other black teas frequently contain the most caffeine and can easily be picked up in the dining hall. Or, if you have a preferred blend, you can buy a large box at your campus store or local supermarket and make your own tea in the dorms to save you money, similar to having a coffee machine in your room. Herbal and other caffeine-free teas are also nice to enjoy at night, especially during cold season.
I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of this newly popular, fermented tea drink when it suddenly got hyped up this past year. My mom and sister, kombucha super fans, tried to get me into it, but I found the combination of its faint fruity taste and fizz off putting. However, after coming to college, I found that I really liked the Ketiva brand that's available in many on-campus cafes. Loaded with probiotics and other health benefits, this drink is definitely a great substitute for more unhealthy sugary and carbonated drinks.
Smoothies are a great way to pack in your fruits, vegetables and proteins in a more subtle way. These come in a variety of shapes and forms, but usually consist of some type of milk (dairy or nondairy) and bananas which produce a mildly sweet ad pleasantly smooth texture. The taste of leafy greens such as spinach or kale is usually masked in smoothies, making them an ideal method to having your serving of vegetables if you often avoid the salad bar in the dining halls. Like the coffee and tea tip, if you can fit a Nutribullet in your room, you can also make and customize your own while saving money.
During the week, it's hard to overcome certain cravings for sugary and syrupy drinks, but when you drink right, you'll feel a lot better in the long run.