Drinks in nutrition
Drinks have been overlooked.
Until recently, they have been overlooked as a source of good nutrition. They have have also been overlooked as a junk food.
Drinks keep us hydrated, and hydration is critical. To begin with, the body is designed to be hydrated with water. Womens' bodies are between 50-65 % water and there are consequences if this percent is not maintained. According to a series of well referenced articles at livetrong.com, water is needed for our physiological processes. A 5% deficiency in hydration status leads to decreased muscle strength and endurance. Even a 2% loss in body weight due to dehydration reduces cognitive and motor performance.
Our hydration can most directly be maintained by drinking water. However, water rich foods like soups, fruits and yogurt contribute as well.
Adequate hydration influences the following processes:
recovery from illness
digestion and elimination
How much fluid do I need ?
Men need 3 Liters per day of liquids including water. Women need 2 Liters. Add at least 2 cups more for exercise, hot weather, illness or pregnancy. Here's a tip: Keep a pitcher of water on the table at every meal. When you go out, carry a water bottle wherever you go.
The best way to judge your hydration status is by thirst and the color of your urine. It should be clear and light yellow or entirely clear without color.
Let's look in more detail at some specific beverages: