On average, our bodies lose 2.5 litre’s of water every day and as our bodies cannot manufacture enough of our own fluid, it’s important to get this from other sources.

If you’re thinking, “I need to start drinking 2.5 litres of water a day”, don’t worry, it’s much easier than this and much more exciting than just plain water…

First things first though, why is hydration so important? Well, to put it simply, there is a lot of water in our bodies – up to 60% of the human adult body is water![1]   You may already know this, but let me break it down for you with some more statistics you might find interesting: [1]

Luckily for us, our bodies are very good at telling us when they need more water but if we ignore these signs, you can risk mild to sever dehydration which can be very dangerous.

How much should I drink?

Current guidelines in the Eatwell Guide are six to eight glasses of fluid daily. [2]  This equates to 2000ml for men and 1600ml for women aged 14 years and above.  It’s important to note that 20-30% of your fluid intake actually comes from food (depending on how ‘sloppy’ it is)!  Soups, fruit and vegetables can be more than 80% fluid and hot meals are about 40-70% so a balanced diet filled with lots of colourful vegetables gives us more than just energy and vitamins.

 

Consider your drinking routine – do you drink out of habit or do you drink when you’re thirsty?  Do you sip regularly, or do you gulp big glasses occasionally?  Think of your body like a sponge, if you left it on the countertop for a full day and then do all your washing up in the evening, the sponge can only absorb so much.

In our bodies, excess fluids are flushed out by our kidneys and bladder and we don’t have the time to absorb all the great minerals.  Similarly, if you left a bath sponge under a dripping tap all day, only the very centre would get wet, leaving the corners to stay dry.  The best halfway point is to have a number of drinks throughout the day and the next section of this article will tell you the best drinks for this.

What should I drink?

Health advice on the types of fluid to drink include water, milk (lower fat varieties if required), sugar-free drinks, tea and coffee.  Some drinks such as fruit juice and smoothies contain free sugars and it is recommended that you have no more than 150ml of these per day.[3]  You might be surprised to know that some alcoholic drinks can contribute to your daily intake too (low strength beer, cider and lager have less alcohol and more water) however, this is by no means us endorsing you to drink alcohol for hydration. We also don’t sell this product so we’d much rather you drank water, tea and coffee

We asked some of our Everyday Essentials team for their favourite drinks when they need a boost in hydration:

Andrew – “I like to start my day with a Twinings Earl Grey. No milk, no sugar, just a black Earl Grey.”

Anna – “My favourite is a fruit juice or a fruit & veg smoothie because I love the extra boost to my 5-a-day.”

Georgia – “In the Summer I love a lemon iced tea because it reminds me of holidays but when I want something hot, my favourite is Birchall lemongrass and ginger tea.”

Maddie – “I’m not big on squash or fizzy drinks so I love a glass of water.  If I’m on the move, I’ll have it in my Express Vending water bottle.”

Tina – “I drink a lot of water – especially on the days that I do exercise! I also love extra hot tea from the Step machine in our office.”

 

It is always worth considering the energy value of these drinks as they contribute to your overall dietary energy for that day, especially sports drinks and fizzy drinks.  The UK saw the introduction of a soft drinks levy [4] (nicknamed the ‘sugar tax’) in April 2018 to help reduce obesity as the manufacturers were encouraged to reduce the sugar content in their beverages.

We should also be mindful of fruit juices which can contribute to your 5-a-day but should also be drunk in moderation.  On a positive note, there are many tasty drinks that are more exciting than water but have added benefits.  For example, the Twinings Superblends Teas (which are very popular at Express Vending HQ) are not only great for hydration but also have added vitamins and minerals which promote overall wellbeing.

But can I still enjoy a coffee?

Fluids and foods containing caffeine can sometimes have a diuretic effect meaning they dehydrate you more than they hydrate you.  The European Food Safety Authority (2015)[5] suggests safe daily limits of 400mg for adults and no more than 200mg for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

So in a nutshell, yes you can enjoy all of these products listed but be careful to enjoy them in moderation and monitor your caffeine intake.

In summary

Water is the only fluid you are advised to drink freely and the recommended daily oral fluid intake for adults is 1.6 litres for women and 2 litres for men.  Additionally, 20–30% of your fluid requirements come from food, which means women should have 2 litres and men should have 2.5 litres overall.  You can enjoy an assortment of drinks including tea, coffee, fruit drinks and milk-based drinks but maintain a good balance.

 

If you would like to learn more about encouraging hydration in your workplace (or virtual workplace) get in touch with us to learn more about our range of water dispensers and hot drink machines as well as many other individual cans and bottles of drink and branded cups or water bottles to gift your staff.

Written by Annalise Mason, Everyday Essentials Account Manager

References
[1] https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=98501&section=__introduction3

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/ 

[3]https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/should-i-still-drink-fruit-juice
[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/soft-drinks-industry-levy-comes-into-effect 
[5] https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4102

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