The food and drink balance. Important for everyone!

The food and drink balance. Important for everyone!

A balanced diet with enough liquid is essential for everyone, especially those who are ill. This week is Nutrition and Hydration week, which aims to ensure the good food, sufficient water and assistance to eat and drink that are all vital for recovery.

With concerns about hospital food in the news again, it is a timely moment for this campaign.

Good nutrition and sufficient hydration is essential to maintain good health. We know what we should eat – but what should we drink?

The European recommendation is to drink 1.6 litres of (non-alcoholic!) fluid a day for women, and two litres for men. Those in hot environments or who are doing heavy exercise will probably need more. If your urine is dark, you have a headache and you feel tired, a big drink of water may be all that you need.

The answer is not always ‘just drink more’. Too much water can be a problem if it is not balanced with food. The United States Park Service found this out when encouraging Grand Canyon visitors to drink plenty for their hot, dry hikes. There were many cases of ‘water intoxication’ – so visitors are now reminded to eat properly as well.

Despite the advertising hype, the best liquid for hydration is water. Sports drinks and juice may taste good, but they contain a lot of sugar. Tea and coffee also have to be drunk in moderation to ease the caffeine dose.

There’s simply no substitute for good old water – so fill up a bottle for your trip to the gym.

 

Comments

Emma C.
28 March 2014

Emma C.

Thanks for the tips Tanith. i have learned not to drink too much water, but it's interesting to know why i felt sick after.

Freya W.
26 March 2014

Freya W.

I drink water because I've stopped buying juices and fizzy alternatives. I thought I'd miss the sugary stuff but I really don't!

Tom D.
24 March 2014

Tom D.

I struggled to drink water for ages but soon removed all the other options from my home so I had no choice but to drink it and now there's nothing else to choose from I've acclimatized.

Roger B.
20 March 2014

Roger B.

back in the middle ages everyone drank beer because it was really the only safe drink - water on its own could not be trusted as it was not clean. Sadly for Bradley, this has changed so I'm afraid the post-workout pint should have another pint of water as a chaser. :-)

Elliot M.
19 March 2014

Elliot M.

I find a lot of these "energy" drinks filled with electrolytes are good if you're doing an endurance event. But for everyday training water wins

Tanya M.
18 March 2014

Tanya M.

I don't drink anything but water anymore - I can't believe the rubbish I used to drink and it really has helped with my sleep patterns and energy levels.

Tanith A.
18 March 2014

Tanith A.

The shaking and sickness can happen if you flush away vital electrolytes, Emma. One way round this is to alternate drinking water with something a little bit salty, like broth or miso. Most of us need to worry far more about not drinking enough than drinking too much!

Bradley C.
18 March 2014

Bradley C.

So my post-workout pint doesn't count as boosting my fluid intake then?

Emma C.
17 March 2014

Emma C.

I can vouch for the drinking too much water. I love drinking lots of liquids to keep me feeling 'clean' but i ended up feeling very shaky and sick one day after overdoing it staight after exercise. Be warned. Keep it n balance!

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