Don’t take our word that water is the best drink for your health, here is what the NHS says:
- Your body needs water or other fluids to work properly and to avoid dehydration.
- Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body.
- Most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water in order to take place. We also need water so that our blood can carry nutrients around the body and get rid of waste.
- However, we lose water all the time, through evaporation when we breathe, sweat and in our urine. If the temperature rises or we do more activity, this increases the amount of water we lose.
- To stay healthy, it is important to replace the water we lose.
How much should we drink?
Research measuring water loss has shown that we should drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This works out to be about six 200ml or eight 150ml glasses, cups or mugs. In hotter climates, the body needs more water than this.
Signs of dehydration
When our bodies don’t have enough water, we are said to be dehydrated. One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling thirsty. If you think you may not be getting enough fluids, check if you have any of these other common signs of dehydration:
- Dark-coloured urine and not passing much urine when you go to the toilet
- Lack of energy
- Feeling lightheaded
Types of drinks
Try to choose healthier drinks as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Many soft drinks are high in sugar. Food and drinks that are high in sugar are often high in calories, and eating too many calories can make you more likely to gain weight. Some energy drinks are high in both sugar and caffeine. Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks, such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks, can help you make healthier choices. For more information, see Food labels.
Water is the healthiest choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime. You could also add some squash or fruit juice for flavour.