No ifs, ands or buts—water is the best libation for you. Findings from a new study published in the journal Nutrients show that replacing even one highly sweetened drink—including diet beverages—with water can reduce the number of calories we consume each day and reduce our risk of obesity and other health problems, reports

For the study, researchers from Virginia Tech University reviewed health information collected between 2007 and 2012 from nearly 20,000 adults for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Scientists found that when people replaced just one high-calorie drink with an eight-ounce serving of water every day, they whittled their waistlines and also decreased their risk of weight gain and obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent,” said Kiyah J. Duffey, an adjunct faculty member of human nutrition, foods and exercise at the school’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a researcher on the study. “Even those who consumed more sugary drinks per day could still benefit from water replacement, dropping the amount of calories coming from beverages to less than 25 percent of their daily caloric intake.”

The findings support the recommendations of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that suggest that folks get no more than 10 percent of their calories each day from added sugar. In addition, the guidelines stress that of all calorie-free drinks we could guzzle down, water is the best, healthiest choice.

Did you know H2O also plays a big role in the health of our skin? Click here to read more.