Water. It’s (largely) what we’re made of, it helps our blood carry nutrients around our bodies, and it feeds most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells, which is why it’s important to drink water every day. The good news? Plain tap water is the best choice for your body – it’s cheap, quenches your thirst and contains no kilojoules.
Of course, sometimes you might feel like something different to drink. Here’s what you should choose when the mood strikes.
Not in the mood for water? Try these instead
While tap water should be your go-to beverage, the following options are fine in moderate amounts:
- Plain soda water
- Unflavoured milk
- Herbal tea, tea or coffee (regular or decaffeinated) with milk
Juice is a bit of a different story – while it’s okay to have a small glass (125ml or about ½ a cup) every now and then, eating whole fruit and veg will give you better nutrient benefits. If you do opt for the occasional juice, choose products containing at least 98 per cent fruit or vegetable juice and avoid those with added sugars. You can also add sparkling or still water to your juice to make it go further.
Step away from the soft drinks
Sugary or sugar-sweetened drinks – like cordial, soft drink, fruit drinks that are less than 98 per cent fruit, and sport and energy drinks – are very high in sugar and kilojoules. According to the Heart Foundation, these sorts of drinks have little (if any!) nutritional value, which means they don’t belong in a heart healthy diet.
You can cut down on sugary drinks by adding chopped fresh fruit or vegetables to cold still or sparkling water. Throw in some mint, lemon or cucumber for a refreshing change or try your own flavour combinations.
And, of course, go easy on the alcohol
It’s all too easy for alcohol to become a habit, from after work drinks to a few glasses of wine with dinner – but keep the following recommendations in mind if you’re in the mood for a tipple:
Healthy people should drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks per day, while people with existing heart conditions (like high blood pressure) should talk to their doctor before indulging. For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink at all.