Food For Thought (7 of 8) – Hydration & Drinks

Around 60% of our body mass is water, so, would it be reasonable to assume that the majority of what we drink should be water? So, with this in mind, why do so many of us disregard water and instead, choose tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, squash, and of course…

This week’s Food For Thought blog brings us ever closer to the end of the series, but there is still much to discuss.

So without further delay, here go; in this week’s offering, we will be taking a look at hydration and what we drink. Let us think about your consumption of any of the drinks you choose to indulge in..

  1. Starting with fizzy drinks and squash, and also (though you may consider it the healthier option), fruit juice drinks. All of these (not surprisingly) fall foul to the addition of those unwanted and unnecessary ingredients; take a closer look and you will note the addition of heaps of sugar (or sugar substitutes), preservatives, colours and salt too. Some may even suggest that the added ingredients are ‘natural’, but do we know the chemicals used in their extraction process?
  2. With tea and coffee, caffeine content appears top of the conversation list. As a result, we may turn to cleverly marketed de-caffeinated versions in the hope of bettering our prospects. Sounds like a plan, but do you know how tea and coffee has the caffeine content removed? Again, I will let you do the research, but don’t be surprised if you find the process far from ‘natural’. Of course there are teas which contain no caffeine naturally (these are called caffeine-free teas), and you would do well to search them out to replace your regular varieties, but do not mistake them for teas and coffees which are labelled 'naturally decaffeinated' – they are definitely not the same thing. Additionally, whilst research shows that tea and coffee it may hydrate as well as drinking water, the main concern is that they are diuretics; they actually make you want to pee more. See the conflict…
  3. And finally, how about alcohol; did you know It is classed as a toxin? And if you didn’t know, toxins are so called because they kill cells i.e. your cells – the very same that reside within each of us to allow our bodies to function in a healthy manner. So, if you want to be kind to yourself, cut back as much as you can, but please don't consume it under the pretence that it will improve your health – the very small benefit it may have, is heavily out-weighed by the very real (proven) detrimental effects it has upon us all. Oh yes, and let us also remind ourselves that like tea and coffee, alcohol too is a diuretic.

Anything else? Well actually, yes. Elaborating further on the ‘health benefits’ associated with certain beverages, studies suggest that tea, coffee, and (in particular) alcohol, certainly may have attributes beneficial to one’s health, and for many of us, that's good enough reason to continue drinking them. However, what is often excluded from these claims, and is seldom disseminated with the same veracity, is that consuming healthy whole foods, caffeine and alcohol free beverages, and drinking water, will provide you with same (if not greater) health benefits, and, without the associated risks too.

There too is the interaction between caffeinated beverages and alcohol (interesting reading I think you will find it to be), but in keeping with the theme of this series, I am keeping things simple, so in the meantime, try to drink more water, make a concerted effort to substitute your other beverages for healthier options where possible, and as always, for the sceptics amongst you, or if you simply wish to learn more about what you have read today, please do go ahead and do your own research.

Until my next blog in a couple of weeks, go ahead and enjoy more water!

Yours, Al

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