How Much Water And Other Drinks To Consume For Balanced Diet
It’s easy to overlook, but choosing healthier drinks is a key part of getting a balanced diet. Many soft drinks, like for example instant powdered drinks and hot chocolate, are high in sugar. Food and drinks that are high in sugar are often high in calories as well, and too many calories can make you more likely to gain weight. So, here is the question how much water and other drinks to consume for balanced diet? You can find some advice below.
Some energy drinks are high in sugar and caffeine. Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks can help you make healthier choices.
1. Drink plenty of water
Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee, without added sugar, can also be healthy, only when moderate amounts of coffee daily are consumed.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime. Or heat the water and infuse a tea bag, some coffee or a slice of lemon. You could also add some no-added-sugar squash or fruit juice for flavor.
2. Drink semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk
Milk is a good source of calcium, a mineral that helps build and maintain healthy bones. It also contains protein, vitamins and other minerals, and doesn’t cause tooth decay.
For a healthier choice, choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk. However, the intake of flavored milks, milkshakes, condensed milk and milk-based energy or malt drinks is not recommendable, because these contain added sugar, which is bad for teeth.
3. Juices, smoothies, fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies contain a variety of vitamins that are good for our health. A small glass of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
But a glass of juice should only ever be one of your portions of those five recommended, because it doesn’t contain the fibre found in whole fruits and vegetables. Have other types of fruit and vegetables for the other four, or even more portions.
Fruit juice also contains sugar that can damage teeth. It’s best to drink it with a meal because this can help protect teeth.
When fruit is juiced or blended, the sugars are released. Once released, these sugars can damage teeth, especially if you drink juice frequently. Even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so try to drink no more than 150ml of fruit juice each day.
4. Fizzy drinks, flavored waters, and squashes with added sugar
Fizzy drinks, squashes and juice drinks can contain lots of added sugar and very few nutrients, so keep them to a minimum. Children should avoid them completely.
Flavored water drinks can also contain a surprisingly large amount of sugar, so check the label before you buy and drink. Also beware of “juice drinks” as these may not have enough fruit in them to count towards your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
The high sugar content means that a drink is also high in calories, which can contribute towards you becoming overweight. Cutting down on these drinks is a good way of reducing the number of calories you consume while not missing out on any nutrients.
The best drinks to give children are water, milk and milkshakes without added sugar. If you or your children like fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water instead. Remember to dilute squashes well to reduce the sugar content in the drink.
5. Tea and coffee
It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet. Bear in mind, though, that caffeinated drinks can make the body produce urine more quickly. Some people are more susceptible to this than others, but it also depends on how much caffeine you have and how often you have it.
If you have problems with urinary continence, cutting down on caffeine by changing to low-caffeine tea and coffee, fruit or herbal teas, or other types of drinks can sometimes help.
If you drink tea or coffee with sugar or you have flavored syrups in your coffee shop drinks, you could be unwittingly damaging your teeth and adding unhelpful calories to your diet.
However, many people who choose to cut out sugar from their hot drinks soon become accustomed to the taste.
6. Energy drinks and caffeine
Energy drinks often contain high levels of caffeine and are often high in sugar – in translation calories. They may also contain other stimulants and sometimes vitamins and minerals or herbal substances.
The caffeine levels in these drinks vary, but there is often around 80mg of caffeine in a small 250ml can. This is the same as two cans of cola or a small mug of coffee.
- Caffeine during pregnancy
Pregnant women should have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day. One mug of instant coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine.
High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life.
High caffeine levels might also cause miscarriage. Check the labels of energy drinks as they often say the drink is not suitable for children or pregnant women.
7. Sports drinks
Sports drinks can be useful when you’re doing high-level endurance sports and need an energy boost.
But they are no different from any other sugary soft drinks, which means they are high in calories and contribute to tooth decay.
Unless you’re taking part in high-level endurance sports, water is the healthier choice and the best way to replace fluids lost through exercise.