What other drinks can replace water?


Drinking enough water every day is important for your health.

Water makes up more than 50% of our body weight.

To sustain this amount of water in our bodies, we’re advised to drink six to eight glasses of fluid per day.

Water is the healthiest drink we can reach for – no sugar, no calories – but is it always the best way to rehydrate on hot days?

The answer is: it depends.

It seems water is sufficient for most people most of the time, but the best way to rehydrate depends on who and where you are, and what you’re doing.

The needs of a physically active person with an outdoor job on a hot day may be different from the person who lives in an air-conditioned house, who drives an air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned office.

The obvious answer is that the active person will need to drink more fluid than the sedentary one – but there’s more to it than that.

When we sweat, we lose water and salt, so we need to replace both. If we consume too much of either, the body will take steps to even things out using osmosis, which is the process of passing water through cell membranes.

Replacing lost fluid just with plain water means the body has too much water and not enough salt, so to even things out, it will get rid of water by producing urine.

For this reason, milk can actually be more effective than drinking water.

Milk naturally contains salt and lactose, a sugar, which we need in small amounts to help stimulate water absorption in the gut. Coconut water is also effective, as it contains salt, potassium and carbohydrates.

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