Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Water and other drinks

Drinking plenty of fluid is essential to keep our bodies hydrated and working properly.

How much should I be drinking?

You should aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluid every day. This can include:
low-fat milk - choose lower fat options
tea and coffee - some speciality drinks (for example - lattes and mochas) can be high in fat and sugar
fruit juices and smoothies - up to 150ml counts towards your 5 a day
fizzy drinks - choose sugar-free varieties

During hot weather and exercise, you might need to drink more than this to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Fruit juices and smoothies

Fruit juice and smoothies are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

A small glass (150ml) of either fruit juice or a smoothie counts as a maximum of 1 of your 5 a day, however, these drinks contain a lot of sugar. Any more than this and you'll just be consuming extra sugar that you don't need.

High sugar drinksDrinks that are high in sugar:

contain a lot of calories and very few nutrients
are one of the main causes of excess sugar consumption amongst children and adults in the UK

Swap sugary soft drinks for water or diet, sugar-free and no added sugar varieties.

Caffeinated drinks

Drinks that contain caffeine - including tea, coffee and some fizzy and energy drinks - can make you pass urine more frequently. This means your body will lose more water than normal.

To keep hydrated, you might need to drink more to replace the fluids you lose.


Alcohol contains a lot of calories and can damage your health if you drink too much and too often.

The calorie content of an alcoholic drink depends on the:
  • type of alcohol
  • type of mixer (if used)
  • volume served

As a guide:
  • a pint of beer (5%) contains 182 calories and 2.3 units of alcohol
  • a medium glass of wine (175ml, 13%) contains 159 calories and 2.3 units of alcohol
  • a bottle of alcopop (275ml, 4%) contains 170 calories and 1.1 units of alcohol
  • a single measure of spirits (25ml, 40%) contains 61 calories and 1 unit of alcohol

You should limit the amount you drink to no more than 14 units spread evenly throughout the week.

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