THE CHALLENGE: Have at least 6-8 unsweetened drinks every day – water is a great choice!
Why is it important to drink plenty?
- On average, water makes up more than half of our body weight and we need fluid for our body to work properly.
- Water is constantly lost through sweating, breathing and using the toilet, so it is important to drink throughout the day to keep hydrated.
- Being dehydrated can make it difficult to concentrate and may cause headaches and tiredness.
How much should we drink?
In the UK, it is recommended that we have 6-8 drinks every day, as well as any water provided by food. Younger children usually need smaller drink servings (around 150-200 ml) than older children, young people and adults (around 250-300 ml). The exact amount of fluid we need will depend on many factors, including age, activity levels and the weather.
Healthier drink options:
- water (this is the best option for a regular drink)
- lower fat milks or calcium-fortified, unsweetened dairy alternatives
- unsweetened tea/coffee (but limit for young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women)
- vegetable/fruit juices and smoothies*
*100% vegetable/fruit juices and smoothies should be limited to no more than a combined maximum of 150 ml a day as they contain free sugars.
Drinks that contain sugars, such as juices, smoothies, soft drinks, milk shakes, and energy and sports drinks, can contribute to energy (kJ/kcal) intake and increase the risk of tooth decay, if consumed regularly. Water is a great choice throughout the day as it hydrates without adding energy (kJ/kcal) or risking harm to teeth.
Some tips to help you in the “drink plenty” challenge:
- Have a drink with meals.
- Keep a reusable water bottle on hand to sip throughout the day
- If you like sweet drinks, choose sugar-free versions
- Have plenty to drink before, during and after physical activity
- Have regular drinks – don’t wait until you feel thirsty!