Rethink your drink - Drink water

Rethink your drink

Water is essential to life. What is it they say? You can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water? Or something to that effect! The bottom line is we need to drink water to survive. But… I can hear you thinking… You are wondering why coffee and fizzy drinks and iced tea don't count? And what about flavoured water, surely that is still water?

Water is essential to life. What is it they say? You can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water? Or something to that effect! The bottom line is we need to drink water to survive. But… I can hear you thinking… You are wondering why coffee and fizzy drinks and iced tea don't count? And what about flavoured water, surely that is still water?

The answer is not a simple yes or no. Yes, all of these drinks contain water and therefore contribute to your daily requirements. But water is not all they contain. As mentioned in last week's post, they also give you caffeine and sugar! 2 things we don't want to consume too much of.
National Nutrion week choose water-01-2

Caffeine

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Sounds a bit scary! In normal quantities - 2 to 4 cups of tea or coffee per day - it is perfectly safe with few or no side-effects. If you drink too much coffee or you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, it can:
  • Raise your blood pressure
  • Effect gastric motility - cause an urgent need to go to the toilet
  • Accelerate bone loss in post menopausal women
  • Act as a diuretic (but normally only in high amounts)
  • Cause anxiety
  • Result in insomnia
But the effects of caffeine are not all bad! It also reduces fatigue and drowsiness, improves reaction time, concentration and motor coordination. It can also be used to treat various medical conditions and as an ergonomic aid.

So, I am not asking to quit your morning coffee, just keep your intake to 2 to 4 cups per day.
sugar-2510533_1920

Sugar

Sugar is the big one! As I illustrated last week, we have a tendency to drink a lot of extra calories in the form of sugar-filled drinks. The amount of sugar a person consumes should be limited to less than 10% of the daily energy intake. This results in improved health outcomes. Even better health outcomes can be achieved if it is limited to less than 5% of the daily energy intake. This translates to 5 to 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

To put this in perspective… This is the sugar content of commonly consumed drinks:
  • Fizzy drinks - 1 can (340ml) = ± 8 teaspoons of sugar
  • Orange juice - 1 cup (250ml) = ± 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Iced-tea - 1 bottle (500ml) = ± 7 teaspoons of sugar
  • Sports drink - 1 bottle (500ml) = ± 8 teaspoons of sugar
  • Energy drink - 1 can (250ml) = ±5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Flavoured water - 1 bottle (500ml) = ± 3 teaspoons of sugar

As you can see, just one sugary drink per day brings you to the daily sugar limit. This means that you don't have any sugar left to sweeten your coffee or add a little honey to your oats.

Water

But I can hear to saying that you really, really, REALLY don't like water! I know that not everyone enjoys drinking water. 1 cup a day is probably fine, but 6 to 8?! I must crazy, right?! The bottom line is that we really, really, REALLY need the water! We don't need the sugar. What can you do to make the water more attractive?

It is very trendy at the moment to drink infused water. What does this mean? It simply means cutting up some fruit and putting the pieces into your water to give it a bit of flavour. Lemon is probably the most common fruit used to flavour water, but you can try any fruit and see what works for you. Some nice combinations are:
  • Strawberry and mint
    strawberry-drink-1412232_1920
  • Cucumber and coriander
  • Pineapple and chill
  • Grapefruit and rosemary

You could also make your own iced-tea by brewing some rooibos or green tea and allowing the fruit to soak in the tea until it is cool. Simply add ice and enjoy!

To remind you to drink water:
  • Keep a bottle on your desk
  • Keep a glass at the sink
  • If you have a tea lady in the office, ask her to bring you water instead of tea
  • Use the water cooler as an excuse to get up from your desk

Lucky for me I enjoy a glass of water. It is my preferred drink. But I am very aware that this is not the case for everyone and that it can be a real struggle to drink water. Make a decision to start training yourself to drink water. Before you know it, your skin will be glowing, you will lose some weight and you will feel healthy!

Bottoms up!

Wendy Signature
blog comments powered by Disqus