What are the benefits of healthy drinks?
- Water is an essential nutrient for life, needed by every organ of the body to work well.
- Water is required to carry nutrients around the body, for the kidneys to remove unwanted chemicals from the body, and to keep the body cool through sweating.
- The body constantly loses water through the skin and lungs.
- Children have a larger surface area to body water content ratio and may become dehydrated more easily than adults.
- "The human body is made up of 50-75% water. Staying well hydrated (especially in hot weather and when exercising) is crucial to making sure our bodies function at their best. There are many theories about the right amount to drink, but the following is a good guide to aim for:
- 1,500 – 2,000ml/day (or 35-45ml/kg/day) for adults, and
- 1,000 – 1,500ml/day for children"(1)
- Plain water should be the most commonly consumed drink, as it provides fluid without sugar or kilojoules.
- Milk provides:
- Vitamins (A, B12 and riboflavin); and
- Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc).
- Drinking milk contributes to the development of strong teeth and bones.
- Milk has a high water content (approximately 90%) and assists with hydration.
- Drinking reduced-fat milk is recommended for children over two years (children over twelve months and under two years need full cream (fat) milk).
- Fruit juice contains naturally occurring sugars, and nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and folate. Half a glass (125mls) of most juices provides a child’s daily requirement for Vitamin C.
- However, drinking more than one glass (250ml) provides excess sugar and kilojoules that can contribute to weight gain and tooth decay.
- A piece of fruit is an even better choice than juice as it provides fibre and is more filling and less likely to contribute to tooth decay.
- Dieticians Association of Australia, 2012, Drinks, viewed 1 February 2012.