Did you know that 20-ounce sports drinks contain approximately 8.5 teaspoons of sugar?

Here are other 20-ounce drinks of note:

Cranberry juice: 9.0 teaspoons

Cola: 20 teaspoons

Bottled water: 0 teaspoons

Obviously, water is your best and most healthful choice.

One to two sugary drinks per day can lead to 26% greater risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and 35% greater risk of heart disease.

Seniors and children alike are more at risk of dehydration, especially in hot summer weather in the Lowcountry.

When outside and active, especially during the summer months, once you begin to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. That’s why it is so important to ensure you are drinking enough all day, every day – even in cooler weather.

Dehydration is progressive, so it can sneak up on you very easily. Over days or weeks of slight fluid deficits, dehydration can hit your body very hard.

Water is the best choice to maintain hydration, restore fluids, quench thirst and rehydrate your system. Always be sure to drink water before activity, during activity and after activity.

Even when you aren’t thirsty, keep drinking water. Avoid soda, fruit juices, flavored waters, and any drinks that contain high concentrations of sugar.

Signs that you might be already dehydrated include feeling thirsty, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, headache, dark yellow urine, dry lips, tongue or throat.

Mild dehydration can be treated by drinking more water right away. But serious dehydration might require medical attention, so see a doctor immediately if you suffer the above symptoms.

Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Low Country, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. culliganhhi.com