Beverages are essential to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Whether they are part of a meal or in between, a refreshing drink can help you rejuvenate just when you begin to wilt with soaring temperatures. Just like choosing your food, the choice of your drinks can make the difference between how you feel and how it affects your body’s water balance. The ideal drink is either pure drinking water or those that provide health benefits and replace minerals and electrolytes.
Many of us are unsure as to whether it’s fine to drink beverages with meals. The truth is that there is no need to separate beverages from solid foods, rather, sip in moderation. It is not advisable to drink copious amounts of water or cold drinks along with meals as it has been shown to suppress gastric secretion and impair digestion. A plain glass of room temperature water or some green tea or soup are fine with meals.
Better still, a squeeze of lime or lemon can enhance iron and calcium uptake from food, besides adding Vitamin C.
Another eternal debate is how much one should drink? It is true that an adult body requires an average of about 2 – 2.5 litres (8-10 glasses) of fluid daily. Based on the recommendations that 1ml of fluid is required to metabolise 1 calorie, this figure may vary with seasons and individual needs. This includes beverages, soups, milk and daals. Thirst may not be a reliable indicator of your fluid needs. Inadequate fluid intake could lead to dehydration. Some of its early signs are poor concentration, lethargy, fatigue and dry mouth.
Chronic fluid insufficiency can lead to hyperfilteration in the kidneys, leading to renal disease or stones. Severe dehydration can be dangerous with serious consequences.
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Sportsmen or those exposed to high temperatures and children are prone to dehydration. They must ensure adequate fluid intake before and during exposure. Women following weight loss diets may need extra servings of low calorie fluids. However, those suffering from renal disease or heart failure must strictly regulate their fluid intake and their beverages. It is vital to remain well-hydrated.
Vegetable and fruit juices like litchi, watermelon, mango, coconut or lime water and herbal teas are loaded with electrolytes, minerals and antioxidants which help to fight diseases. They have healing and restorative properties and are simple, natural ways to enhance health and vitality. Boost your immunity with the green power in cabbage, spinach, lemon, coriander, lauki and garlic cocktail. Create your own refreshing ones with these inspiring ideas and just chill!