Healthy meetings: Beverages

When hosting or organizing a meeting, water is the best beverage to serve.

Do you often stop at the coffee shop or grocery store in preparation for the meeting that you’re hosting? Or do you call your catering contact to arrange for beverages, meals or snacks? We often do everything we can to make our guests as comfortable as possible. This may mean serving a selection of beverages.

It may be a habit to serve certain food or beverages at meetings but with time, a habit can change for an individual as well as an organization. Some sugar sweetened beverages can contain large amounts of discretionary calories, calories that do that do not provide a large amount of nutrients. The additional calories and sugar provided by these beverages can contribute to excess calories that may result in weight gain. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, replacement of caloric beverages with noncaloric beverages may be a simple strategy for promoting modest weight reduction.

So what beverages should be served at meetings?

According to the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA), you should make water the default beverage. Water is also a great option as tap water can be cost efficient.

Michigan State University Extension recommends other options which may include:

  • 100 percent juice
  • 100 percent juice diluted with water
  • Low-fat or non-fat milk
  • Calcium and vitamin D-fortified soymilk
  • Beverages with 40 calories per container or less
  • Offer low-fat or non-fat milk with coffee and tea service in addition to or in place of half and half

A healthy meeting includes the above beverage options and eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages and beverages that contain 40 or more calories per serving.

When we spend the majority of our waking hours at work and often in meetings, this is one change that can make a large difference in the lives of employees, co-workers and stakeholders. Make water the first choice of beverage at every meeting.

More information please contact the worksite wellness coordinator, Dawn Earnesty at or visit and for upcoming programs and educational opportunities.

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