Midweek Motivator: Home Instead Senior Care wins 2023 Rethink Your Drink Challenge

This year 903 people joined this challenge in Crow Wing County with 25 businesses participating.

Winners of the Rethink Your Drink Challenge.
Employees at Home Instead Senior Care were winners of the 2023 Rethink Your Drink Challenge.

BRAINERD — Crow Wing Energized has completed its Fifth Annual Rethink Your Drink Challenge.

Home Instead Senior Care won the 2023 Challenge. Their overall water intake was 863 ounces for the four-week challenge. Coming in second place was Lakes Area Restorative Justice Program and third place was Bremer Bank. This year 903 people joined this challenge in Crow Wing County with 25 businesses participating.

  • Crosslake Schools
  • City of Brainerd
  • Sourcewell
  • Essentia Health
  • Baxter Elementary School
  • Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union
  • BNSF Railways
  • Graphic Packaging
  • Brainerd Lakes YMCA
  • The Wheel Fitness
  • Greater Lakes Realtors
  • Home Instead
  • Big Stone Therapies
  • Trinity Business Partners
  • Nystrom and Associates
  • RE/MAX Realty
  • Pequot Lakes School
  • Northern Pines
  • CTC
  • Crow Wing County
  • American National Bank
  • Lakes Area Restorative Justice Program
  • Brainerd BN Credit Union
  • Good Samaritan Society 
  • Bremer Bank

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that by switching out your sugar sweetened beverages for water, you can cut out about 650 calories a day. The Rethink Your Drink campaign encourages people to make healthier beverage choices by consuming water instead. While the challenge promotes increasing water consumption, at its core, it’s challenging people to drink water instead of their daily soda, coffee, etc.

Better Beverage Choices Made Easy (Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations)

At the coffee shop:

  • Request that your drink be made with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk
  • Order the smallest size available.
  • Forgo the extra flavoring — the flavor syrups used in coffee shops, like vanilla or hazelnut, are sugar-sweetened and will add calories to your drink.
  • Skip the Whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.
  • Get back to basics. Order a plain cup of coffee with fat-free milk and artificial sweetener, or drink it black.

At the smoothie stand:


  • Order a child’s size if available.
  • Ask to see the nutrition information for each type of smoothie and pick the smoothie with the fewest calories.
  • Hold the sugar. Many smoothies contain added sugar in addition to the sugar naturally in fruit, juice, or yogurt. Ask that your smoothie be prepared without added sugar: the fruit is naturally sweet.

Setting yourself up for success:

  • Choose water, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
  • Don’t “stock the fridge” with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
  • Serve water with meals.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
  • Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8-ounce cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.
  • Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.

Quick Tips:

Sweeteners add calories to be beverages, but they aren’t always called “sugar”; be on the lookout for these ingredients:

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
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