During the hot summer season, there is nothing more quench-thirsting than a large drink full of ice. Not only are cold drinks refreshing, but they are necessary for good health. Being dehydrated in the summer can make you feel tired and lazy. It can also cause headaches, nausea, and irritability. Fluid losses are higher in the summer so you need to drink more to rehydrate. Water is an excellent source of replenishment. It has no calories, carbohydrate, protein, fat, or caffeine. Other sources of hydration that people might enjoy include fruit juices, tea, or coffee.
However, consuming drinks containing carbohydrates such as fruit juices and tea with sugar and milk adds calories. Studies have shown that people achieve greater satiety on whole foods more than they do when they consume their calories from drinks. You can also increase your fluid intake buy eating fresh fruit. Fruits have a high content of water and provide essential vitamins and minerals and prevent constipation problems. Soft drinks may be wonderful to the palate but contain no nutrients other than sugar. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, are lower in sugar content and contain electrolytes that help with hydration. This is beneficial especially after a long workout. The electrolytes in the sports drink help replace the ones lost in sweat and the sugar replenishes the glycogen stores in the muscles. However, they may not be so necessary for shorter workouts. Energy drinks, such as Red Bull, tend offer more sugar, caffeine, and sometimes protein. They are marketed to young people to increase focus and enhance academic performance, as well as increase sports performance by providing an energy boost. While sugar can provide energy, and caffeine can increase alertness, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can be better and more effective.
Milk, leban, and calcium fortified milk alternatives are great sources of fluids and provide the additional benefits of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Making nutritive & informed choices in beverages will help prevent weight gain, help with diabetes control, and prevent heart disease.
Nada Jawahery is the Registered Dietician at Royal Bahrain Hospital and is a member of, and licensed by, the American Dietetics Association. For more information call 17246832 or email: Nada.Jawahery@royalbhrn.com