What’s the best drink to quench a thirst? Water!
Even better, it has none of the sugar, found in fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks and flavoured mineral waters, which can cause tooth decay.
The fluoride in tap water helps you develop strong teeth and bones. Tap water is also a lot less expensive than other types of drinks. Plus it’s always available, so no need for a trip to the shop.
Fruit juice, which contains Vitamin C, is often seen as a healthy choice of drink. However, fruit juice is high in sugar and kilojoules, just like fruit drinks, flavoured mineral water, energy drinks and soft drinks. For example, a 250ml cup of apple juice or cola contains up to six teaspoons of sugar.
Add it up: just one can of soft drink per day means you’re adding 18 kilos of sugar to your diet each year!
You can have them occasionally, but these drinks are not a necessary part of a healthy diet.
Australian researchers found that children aged between 4 and 12 years who drank 500ml or more of fruit juice or cordial per day were twice as likely to be overweight or obese as children who consumed none.
How much to drink?
The recommended daily amount of fluids is:
- 5 glasses (1 litre) for 5 to 8 year olds
- 7 glasses (1.5 litres) for 9 to12 year olds
- 8 to 10 glasses (2 litres) for 13+ years
You should drink more water when you’re exercising or on a hot day. We often don’t feel thirsty even when our bodies need fluid, so it’s a good idea to drink water regularly throughout the day.
Hints to help you drink more water
- Pack a water bottle whenever you go out.
- In summer, put a frozen water bottle in your lunch box.
- Keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge in summer and drink warm water in winter.
- Water down juices, sports drinks and cordials.
- Use smaller glasses when drinking sugary drinks.
Water and sport
- Staying well-hydrated, especially in hot weather and when you’re exercising, helps your body function at its best.
- Dehydration – not having enough fluid in your body – can cause headaches and fatigue, make you feel cranky and affect your concentration.
- If you feel thirsty you’re probably already starting to dehydrate, so make sure you drink water regularly and especially before any physical activity.
- Have a few mouthfuls of water during any breaks in playing games or sport.
- After sport or exercise, drink plenty of water to make up for what you’ve lost in sweat.
Download Kids Choose Water as a Drink fact sheet (PDF 583KB)