A lot of people don’t realise they are dehydrated. With all the coffee, tea and soft drinks throughout the day, how could you possibly be dehydrated?
While of course there’s water in those drinks, with all the other ingredients you may not only be fighting a losing battle, you may be making your dehydration worse. We’ve put a list of the best and worst drinks to keep you hydrated.
The worst drinks for hydration
Put down the Coca Cola. Soft drinks tend to contain caffeine which is one of main culprits causing dehydration. It’s also packed with sugar and sodium making it bad for your health and your teeth.
If you like the carbonation, grab some sparkling water instead and flavour it with fruit for a low calorie, hydrating drink.
The very thing you’re using to wake up on a Monday morning could be dehydrating you because of the caffeine content. Dehydration can lead to more fatigue meaning that you could be making it worse.
Having coffee in moderation is fine but if you’re chugging 4 espressos a day it may be time to cut down. Instead of coffee throughout the day mix it up with other hot drinks like herbal tea or decaf.
Beware of those energy drinks that name lists of unfamiliar chemicals that “enhance performance” or “boost energy”. They are full of caffeine, artificial sweeteners or sugars and a range of chemicals you really shouldn’t be putting in your body.
Like coffee, it may wake you up initially, but you’ll have a crash soon after. This can lead to an unhealthy cycle of using caffeine to get you through the day which only dehydrates you and makes you feel worse.
A cold beer on a summer’s day seems like the perfect way to soothe a parched throat but it won’t do much to hydrate you.
Sure most of beer is water but it also has alcohol which will just dehydrate you. Hangovers are caused mostly because of dehydration. That’s why it’s recommended that you drink water in between alcoholic drinks and have a glassful before you go to bed to beat those horrible headaches the next day.
Generally the higher the alcohol content, the more dehydrating it is. Try something a bit lighter or keep a glass of water on hand.
Juice or smoothies
You may think drinking glass after glass of juice a day is healthy. Juice in moderation is fine and it can be hydrating but it’s also full of sugar. They may be natural sugars and better than the stuff in energy drinks but they can still harm your teeth and add empty calories.
Smoothies can be a great breakfast or post-workout snack. However, they usually pack a variety of fruits in, upping the sugar content. Instead, try smoothies that use both fruit and vegetables to reduce sugar and try blended ice instead of yogurt to thicken it up.
The best drinks
Unsurprisingly this is number one on the list. The best way to replace lost water in the body is to drink more water. It’s really as simple as that.
Luckily you can get your water from a range of more exciting methods such as teas, sparkling water or juice but those drinks should be used in moderation.
It’s much simpler to get into the habit of drinking plain water throughout the day. That way you’ll avoid the other side effects such as caffeine dehydration and sugar overload.
Surprisingly milk can be good for hydration as it also contains added vitamins like calcium and vitamin D. It can also help you feel fuller and less likely to snack on unhealthy foods in between meals.
If you don’t drink milk, there are plenty of other vegan milks available that can help you stay hydrated. Opt for unsweetened versions of soy, almond or coconut milk.
Fruit infused water
Flavoured water has been a great way to get people to drink more water but it often has more sugar than we’d like. So why not make your own? It’s as simple as adding pieces of your favourite fruit to a water bottle to give you a subtle flavour that won’t leave you craving something sugary like a soft drink.
Have you heard about the benefits of drinking hot water with lemon? It can hydrate you, wake you up, aid weight loss and help your immune system with the vitamin C boost.
Tea is often a better alternative to coffee as it generally contains less caffeine. There’s also a range of herbal teas and infusions that can keep it interesting with even less caffeine.
Camomile can be great for its calming effect, peppermint can help with digestion and green tea is applauded for its multiple health benefits. So you’ll be sure to find something that you like.