Our body’s are made up of approximately two-thirds water, therefore adequate fluid consumption is essential to stay hydrated and healthy!
An average person requires between 6-8 glasses of fluid each day (Eatwell Guide recommendation).
Fluids include liquids that provide water as well, such as; tea, coffee, milk, fruit juices and soft drinks.
Fluid choices are important as some choices may provide energy (calories) as well as water, which contribute to your total calorie intake. Sugar content should be noted as too many sugary drinks can damage your teeth. Similarly, acidic drinks such as fruit juices and carbonated drinks may erode tooth enamel.
Alcohol increases water loss through urine, therefore alcohol isn’t recommended for hydration.
Water (bottled or tap) is a great choice as it hydrates without adding to your calorie intake.
Tea or coffee provide water. Despite containing caffeine, moderate amounts of caffeine doesn’t affect hydration.
Milk provides protein, B vitamins and calcium alongside water. However, the fat content should be taken into consideration.
Fruit juices and smoothies contain vitamins and minerals, as well as water and a 150ml serving provides 1 of your 5 a day, however they contain calories which contribute to your daily intake, also be cautious of their sugar content and ensure good dental hygiene.
Soft drinks often contain high levels of sugar and therefore add to daily calorie intake, as well as potentially damaging your teeth, despite providing some water. Therefore, soft drink consumption should be minimal, and where possible choose lower sugar or sugar-free options.
Other hydration considerations
Fruit and vegetables are usually more than 80% water, therefore its not surprising that on average we get around 20% of our total water intake from food.
Physical activity increases the amount of fluid you need to replace the water you lose as sweat. Water is fine for rehydrating after the kind of moderate exercise that most active people choose, and the majority of active people do not need special sports drinks to stay hydrated. However, for high intensity exercise that lasts more than 40 minutes or so, drinks with a little added sugar and sodium (salt), such as sports drinks or home made versions, may be better at replacing the extra fluid lost as sweat.
Am I getting enough water?
Thirst is a key sign that you need to drink more. Another sign is if your urine is a dark yellow colour during the day. If you’re adequately hydrated your urine should be a pale straw colour.
You may need to hydrate more in hot weather or if your body temperature is high as a result of physical activity or illness.
For more information on how to hydrate your body properly, or for any other questions you may have about health & nutrition, please call our team now on 01933 277344.