Tag Archives: hydration

Take the Fizz out of your Life – Sugary Drinks.

 Sugar Sweetened Beverages are drinks that have sugar added to them, these include juice style drinks, sports drinks, some flavoured waters, some milkshake drinks, and of course fizzy drinks. The market for these type of drinks has rapidly grown over the past few decades and they are now drunk regularly on a daily basis by many rather than being reserved for treats and special occasions. 

 Some of these drinks are obviously not healthy, but some look on the surface to be a good choice – but are they? The problem is these drinks contain “empty calories”, but virtually no nutrients. People often don’t think about the calories in them, so these turn into extra calories resulting in weight gain. 

 One study conducted on over 100,000 people showed drinking sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a mean weight gain of 0.36kg over 4 years. It was suggested that replacing sugary drinks with 1 cup of water per day would lead to 0.49kg weight loss over 4 years (1). That’s from drinks alone!

 Research shows us that sugary drinks are responsible for increasing weight gain, fat gain, blood glucose levels and decrease fat metabolism. Regularly drinking them has been shown to change the way the muscles used fuel, leading to them choosing sugar over fat and similar changes are seen in the body as seen in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity (2). This shows that sugary drinks can predispose us to these chronic diseases too.

 So if you want to look after your long term health and your weight these sugary drinks need to be kept as a treat. Swap them for water, no added sugar squash, milk, herbal/fruit tea, tea or coffee.

 

This post was written for Slimsticks.

 

References:

1. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jan 15.

Changes in water and beverage intake and long-term weight changes: results from three prospective cohort studies.

Pan A, Malik VS, Hao T, Willett WC, Mozaffarian D, Hu FB.

 

2. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Apr;52(3):937-48.

Adaptive metabolic response to 4 weeks of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in healthy, lightly active individuals and chronic high glucose availability in primary human myotubes.

Sartor F, Jackson MJ, Squillace C, Shepherd A, Moore JP, Ayer DE, Kubis HP.

Hydration – Am I drinking enough?

The human body is 50-70% water, we cannot survive without it. Water carries nutrients around the body and waste products out of the body, it helps regulate body temperature and acts as a lubricant. It can also help with weight loss!

It’s well known that it’s not a good idea to get dehydrated. This can lead to fatigue, headaches, thirst, weakness, your speech and mental alertness can be affected. However this doesn’t mean you should drink as much as possible. Too much fluid (overhydration) will dilute the sodium and potassium balance in your blood, possibly leading to brain seizures and behavioural changes.

 

How do you know you are getting enough fluid?

It’s not pretty but the best way to tell is to look at your urine. If you are properly hydrated your urine should be a light yellow colour (1-3), if it is 4-5 you should have a drink and the 6-8 range is dehydration.

 

Hydration chart
Hydration chart

 

 

How much do we need to drink?

Specific guidelines have not been set for adults in the UK as there is so much variability between individuals. As a dietitian I use the figure 35ml of water per kg of body weight. This means a 70kg person would need about 2.5 litres of water a day. Surveys carried out on the UK population show men take in average of 3.4 litres a day and women 2.7 litres fluid a day.

Sounds like a lot? This isn’t all through drinking fluid. We take in water from our food as well, around 1 litre a day.

The best thing to do is to drink little and often, according to thirst. Have drinks with meals and if you are out and about a lot, take a drink with you.

What to drink?

Water is always the best drink to have, but not always what you want to drink. You can safely drink up to 4 cups of tea and coffee a day. Other good choices include 1 glass of fruit juice a day, milk, no added sugar squash, fruit and herbal teas.

This post was written for Slimsticks.