How much should we drink a day?
We have read enough about the importance of drinking enough fluids. The recommendation is that adults should drink at least 8 glasses (2-2.5 litres) of fluid a day. At least 5 glasses of this should be drinking water. The same recommendation applies to children from the age of 6. In hot weather, illness or sporting activity, our needs may be higher.
What does fluid mean?
Basically, drinking water. This can be tap water, filtered water (but with minerals), still water, mineral water. Sugary soft drinks and healthy-looking juices can be a large source of excess energy intake. 2 dl of cola or peach juice can provide about 100 kcal of energy. Drinking a whole bottle is much more. These drinks can raise blood glucose levels rapidly and contribute to obesity and diabetes in the long term.
What's wrong with fizzy drinks?
The acidic medium contributes to the weakening of tooth enamel, which leads to tooth decay. Excessive consumption of these drinks can also reduce calcium absorption due to their high phosphoric acid content. Drinking fizzy drinks throughout the day can also cause windiness and stomach aches.
If it is sugar-free, is it safe to drink it?
Although sugar-free - or energy-free, zero-calorie - soft drinks do not add calories, they are not recommended as a substitute for drinking water. Sweeteners used to replace sugar, especially in large quantities, can cause bloating and diarrhoea.
What about alcohol and coffee?
These drinks do not count towards the recommended daily fluid intake. They have the opposite effect: they dehydrate the body and make us thirsty. These drinks should be consumed in moderation, taking care to drink water.
What should I do if I can't drink water?
Homemade filtered fruit teas taste great without sweetening. It's also worth trying soaking pieces of fruit in water for a tasty, energy-free drink. Plus, you can add your favourite fruits. An infusion canteen is also a good idea, and you can take it with you.
What's the good news?
The key to healthy eating is moderation, not prohibition. So you can have the occasional glass of sugary or sugar-free fizzy drink or juice. And this needn't be a guilty conscience or a health problem if you're careful to drink water alongside it.