Have you ever wondered if a cup of coffee or tea and milk can substitute as one of your recommended eight glasses of water a day?
Most drinks do a good job of hydrating, but the components of some common drinks sharply reduce their hydrating ability.
Which drinks are the best hydrators, and which the worst? Here are the three most hydrating and the four least hydrating drinks.
Drinks That Are Strong Hydrators
Water is the preeminent beverage for correctly hydrating the body.
Herbal Teas (Infusions)
The leaves from plants such as mint, verbena, linden, balm, and so on give a pleasant aroma and flavor to the water in which they are steeped, which makes infusions a satisfying alternative to people who don’t enjoy drinking plain water.
The medicinal properties of the plants do not have a negative effect on the body’s assimilation of the water.
Note: The benefit does not extend to sweetened infusions, or if the tea is made with plants that have diuretic properties, such as dandelion.
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
The water in fruits and vegetables–their juice–is one of the liquids nature has provided for hydrating our bodies. Juice is water bound to a substance. To maintain our harmonic balance with nature and avoid taking in too high a concentration of nutrients and sugars, we should consider juice a secondary resource to be used in moderation.
Drinks that Are Weak Hydrators
Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa
Drinks that have a base of coffee, black tea, or cocoa are quite high in purins, toxins that must be eliminated from the body by urine or sweat in the form of uric acid. Purines need to be diluted in large quantities of liquid to be evacuated without irritation. A good portion of the water consumed with these drinks is used to eliminate the toxins.
Milk is a food, not a drink, and its digestion by adults is frequently incomplete.
Whey, on the other hand, is very easily digested, but its diuretic properties are an impediment to its consumption as a daily beverage.
Soft drinks often have a high caffeine base, a diuretic, which makes a body lose water before it has time to make its way into the intracellular environment. The other problem comes from the high sugar content of most sodas. The body has a hard time properly metabolizing refined sugar. To correct the reaction to this, the body has to surrender water from the extracellular fluid. Because that makes a person thirsty, a vicious circle is created, as the thirst is being maintained by the very beverage that is drink with the intention of getting rid of it.
Alcohol itself has dehydrating properties, removing water from the tissues it contacts and drying them out and increasing the need for water.
Adapted from The Water Prescription, by Christopher Vasey, N.D.
Healthy drinking is a vital part of our health. Learn what drinks are good and healthy
choices, as well as tips for healthy drinking for your health. As you are convincing your family to decrease their sugary drink intake, you can introduce them to these better choices.
If you are healthy drinking soda, you are more likely to have a lower intake of important nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and calcium. The decrease in calcium can result in reduced bone mass, which can contribute to broken bones in children and can possibly lead to osteoporosis later in life.
Some nutritionists say that healthy drinking high-fructose corn syrup causes weight gain by interfering with the body’s natural ability to suppress hunger feelings. For those who can’t do without their soda pop, natural varieties are growing in popularity and can be found at most health food markets. Many use cane juice to sweeten, because it is less processed but has many of the nutrients found in sugar cane. Others add no sweetener and instead let the real fruit ingredients do the job.
Healthy drinking – water.
Whether it is flat or fizzy, flavored or plain, water is a fundamental component of your family
fitness plan and is the perfect beverage for everyone. Over 1 billion people worldwide have no access to safe drinking water. The United States is fortunate to have one of the best supplies of drinking water in the world. Although tap water that meets federal and state standards is generally safe to drink, threats to drinking water quality in the United States still exist. Outbreaks of drinking water-associated illness and water restrictions during droughts demonstrate that we cannot take our drinking water for granted.
Did you know that your tap drinking water may contain a number of contaminants from a range of sources that can make you ill? Some contaminants have an effect on the look, smell and taste of your drinking water, yet some will be unnoticeable and can potentially have more harmful effects on your health.
Healthy drinking – milk.
Low-fat and fat-free milk are healthful beverage alternatives. Next to water, low-fat or fat-free milk and soy milk are the best beverage options for your family healthy drinking. Milk contains calcium, which we often don’t get enough of, as well as protein. Soy milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk, especially if you are lactose intolerant, have problems with chronic upper respiratory infections (sinus infections or ear infections), have asthma, or are just looking to include more soy in your diet. Chocolate milk is healthy drink for an occasional treat; just try to control the amount of chocolate added to keep the sugar under control.
Healthy drinking – vegetable juice.
Healthy drinking of vegetable juice is a great low-calorie choice that offers antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C, and other nutrients such as lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Eight ounces of vegetable juice has 2 grams of fiber, is very low in sugar, and has only 50 calories.
Healthy drinking – coffee drinks.
With the rise of the chain coffee houses has come the popularity of creamy coffee drinks that are chock full of sugar and calories You could easily get more than half of your daily calorie allowance from your coffee break. Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo your treat. There are many lower-calorie choices, such as a small café latte or cappuccino made with fat-free milk (about 120 calories). You could also try for healthy drinking a 12-ounce Chai tea with fat-free milk for about 170 calories. Choose from a selection of herbal teas or, of course, plain old zero-calorie black java. And instead of the muffins or cake, try a crunchy biscotti for around 120 calories.
Healthy drinking – 100 percent fruit juice.
100 percent fruit juice is just that — it is made solely from fruit with no sugar added. Healthy drinking of fruit juice has the added benefit of being full of the vitamins that are naturally found in fruit, such as vitamin C and folate. I would suggest limiting the total amount of juice for the day to 4 to 8 ounces.
Bradford and Airedale Community pharmacy development and clinical governance pharmacist from BAtPCT, Rachel Urban, mark out:
Top tips for babies’ healthy drinking
– Breast milk or infant formula should be the main drink for babies aged one and under
– Cooled boiled water is best if extra drinks are needed between meals
– Sugary drinks should never be served in a bottle
– Parents should not allow babies to use a bottle in bed
– Bottles should not be used by babies aged over 12 months
– Pure unsweetened fruit juice is a useful source of vitamin C and should be drunk with main meals or breakfast
– Squash, if given, should be served at mealtimes only and never in a feeding bottle
– Fizzy drinks – including diet drinks – should be discouraged
– Free-flow feeder cups should be used from six months
– Valve cups, anyway up and sip and seal cups are not recommended
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Fruit tea - one word describes it - DELICIOUS and HEALTHY.
Fruit tea comprised of browned shredded quince which has been oven-dried, dry-grilled until brown, and stored ready to steep in boiling water.