We probably all know how important WATER is for survival. Water is a cheap and healthy way to quench your thirst, although (sugar free) soft drinks, tea (plain and herbal), coffee and lower fat milks all count. While it’s true that fruit juices and smoothies contribute to fluid intake, they also contain free sugars which can damage teeth and contribute to weight gain.

Dehydration

Dehydration – resulting from insufficient fluid intake or excess fluid loss (through sweating, diarrhoea or vomiting) can cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Lack of concentration
  • Reduced mental performance
  • Dry skin

By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated, so try to have regular sips of water throughout the day, whether you’re thirsty or not. Recommended intake is 6-8 glasses a day, so, try to keep a bottle of water with you, especially throughout the summer months – even when you’re not aware of feeling hot. If you’re not keen on plain water, consider adding a slice of lemon to improve the taste.

If you’re concerned about keeping babies and young children hydrated, or have any specific health concerns about it, speak to your doctor or health professional. However, some simple tips for children include:

  • Drinking water at mealtimes (which can also reduce the bitter taste of some vegetables)
  • Ensure children drink 6-8 glasses of water a day and, take particular care during hot weather and when participating in sports or other activity
  • Providing children with water regularly, and encouraging consumption, may help get them used to it and create a habit for life
  • Be careful to avoid sugar sweetened beverages as consumption can result in weight gain and dental decay

 

Article published July 2017

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