Quench your thirst
information on what's best to drink


When you need to quench your thirst you probably reach for whatever is handy, like a Coffee, Tea, or maybe a Soft Drink (Cola, etc). It may be influenced by a social situation and you choose Alcohol.

Pure Drinking Water is the best choice but most of the Drinks we consume are fine as long as it is in moderation.

What effects or interactions do the substances we drink have on us?


Lets take a look at each of the following,

  • Sports Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Soft Drinks (Soda)
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Alcohol
  • Supplements or Weight Loss Drinks
  • Fruit Juice.
  • Water

  • You may have a thirst for Sports Drinks. These are designed to replace lost fluids from sweating, after intense Exercise for prolonged periods (over 1hr). They contain high levels of Carbohydrates (sugars) and Electrolytes (sodium) and some amount of added vitamins and minerals. The Carbohydrates supply a fuel source, while the Electrolytes can increase fluid absorption and retention. These drinks are not recommended as a social drink because of these additives.

    If you are not exercising, you will be adding unnecessary calories into your diet. Because of the additives in these drinks, they are usually flavoured to be more palatable. This can lead to a higher consumption over plain water because of their taste.

    There is also what’s called ”Sports Water” on the market. These are a lightly flavoured Water that has much less additives when compared to Sports Drinks. Be cautious of the amount of sugars in these drinks when compared to Plain Water. These may satisfy your thirst but are offset with more calories.These can be used during medium to low intensity exercise for periods below 60 minutes.

    You may have a thirst for Energy Drinks. These are proclaimed to boost your energy and alertness. They contain high levels of Caffeine, either in its own form or that of Guarana (has three times the amount of caffeine than coffee beans) because of its ability to be a stimulant. Some may also contain high levels of sugar or a substitute in the form of an artificial sweetener.

    Because of the high content of caffeine in these drinks some countries have banned their sales or issued warnings to their consumption. It is not recommended that Pregnant Women and Children consume these types of drinks.Some of the recorded side effects can be: Irritability, Sleeplessness, Abnormal Heart Beat (Arrhythmia), Increased Urination and Nervousness.

    Because caffeine is a diuretic there can be a greater loss of fluid that can lead to dehydration.Consume these drinks with caution as they have a high level of additives such as; Maltodextrin, Methylxanthines, Taurine and different Herbs. If you are after a pick me up, try a cup of coffee or tea instead.

    You may have a thirst for Soft Drinks. These are a Carbonated Water Based Drink usually containing Flavours and large amounts of Sugar (approximately 10 - 12 teaspoons per serve). They have no nutritional content and have been linked to an increase in tooth decay. Many of these drinks contain food colouring, emulsifiers and preservatives.

    Soft Drinks usually displace healthier choices from the diet such as Milk, Water or Fruit Juice.

    caffine You may have a thirst for Coffee and Tea. Both of these contain caffeine, where tea contains approximately half that of coffee. As previously stated caffeine is a stimulant and acts upon the central nervous system. A proportion of the community may suffer from its side effects and choose a de-caffeinated variety or abstain.

    Coffee has grown in popularity in recent times and has fuelled the boom in Cafes. Gloria Jeans, Starbucks and the Coffee Club among others, are scattered around cities everywhere suppling coffee to the masses.

    Caffeine content in different coffee styles varies greatly, for example an Espresso may contain 60 mg per 200 ml and a decaf may contain 4 mg per 200 ml. The consumption of caffeine near the end of a lengthy exercise session or endurance event is thought to increase energy by utilising free fatty acids and not glycogen. Some athletes use this strategy but the extra caffeine can have a diuretic effect and therefore create a greater loss of fluid, this in turn can raise your thirst as you dehydrate.

    Tea plays a major role in some cultures around the world. It is not known for any performance enhancing properties and is looked upon in a more therapeutic and relaxing manner. It is said to have antioxidant properties but there are conflicting studies on this subject.

    Both Coffee and Tea consumed in moderation are fine, but remember your sugar content and I do not recommend artificial sweeteners.

    You may have a thirst for Alcohol. This can be separated into three groups Beer, Wine and Spirits. Alcohol is consumed worldwide and many countries have restrictions on its sales and consumption.

    Alcohol is produced from the fermentation of a carbohydrate, for example grains, fruits or vegetables. The process occurs when yeasts break down the sugars present and alcohol is the by-product. It has a depressant effect on the central nervous system, slowing down the processers occurring in the brain.

    The bad news on Alcohol is that if too much is consumed it can lead to damage to the Liver, Heart, Pancreas and the Brain. It is also a potent source of Calories and can be the blame for most males being over-weight. Excessive intake will lead to headaches, nausea and is referred to as the ?Hangover?. The best cure for a hangover is to avoid excessive alcohol.

    It offers no exercise enhancement or performance boost.

    Always consult with your Professional Medical Practitioner if you are taking any medications and clarify that it is safe to do so, if you are drinking Alcohol. There may be interactions that could hamper its effectiveness or have side effects.

    If consumed in moderation one to two drinks per day can be enjoyed for the social aspect that it offers. And please remember to Never Drink and Drive.

    You may have a thirst for Supplements and Weight Loss Drinks. These type of Drinks or Meal Replacements, have been around in some form for years. The idea is to replace one or two meals a day with these to assist in weight loss or control. They are usually a carbohydrate based drink containing some added vitamins and a little protein.

    Studies have shown that these drinks can assist in weight loss but it is not sustainable for the majority of people. A large percentage of us will not continue for years drinking these in place of a good healthy meal to try and maintain any weight loss. Consuming these day in, day out, their flavour will become bland and the variety is not there for the long term.

    The closest I would go to recommending this type of drink, would be to use it as a meal replacement for breakfast, occasionally. You could make a low fat (skim milk), fresh fruit shake. You could even put some fibre in it to boost its filling effects to get you through your morning. I would only replace breakfast with one of these drinks every second morning, or so and have a traditional breakfast (high in cereals and grains) on the other days.

    If you found it necessary to try this approach you could make your own Meal Replacement Drink. That way you know exactly what you are getting and can control the freshness and variety. Try different fruit juices and experiment with different combinations. But don’t let good nutrition suffer, always follow a Healthy Diet and the results and benefits will come naturally.

    Supplement, Weight Gain Drinks or Muscle Building Shakes have been around for years as well. I will not go on too long with this subject, only to say, “I have yet to see any proof that these drinks can assist with muscle growth”. They proclaim to contain all kinds of Amino Acids, Protein, Vitamins and Minerals to transform your physic into a Greek God.

    Keep in mind that these mixtures are high in calories and if you are not training sufficiently you will only be adding unnecessary calories into your diet.

    When you look at their make-up, they are basically a mixture of Milk Powder, Vitamins and Minerals, Flavours and Preservatives. You could make your own using Skim Milk Powder, adding your choice of Flavour (Fresh Fruit) and washing down a multi-vitamin with it.

    Basically if you have a Healthy Balanced Diet with fresh Fruits and Vegetables, a portion of Lean Meats or Fish and plenty of Complex Carbohydrates, then you will be getting all the necessary Nutrients, Fibre and Energy you need without wasting your money.

    And I can say it because “I’ve been there and tried it”.

    You may have a thirst for Fruit Juice. When it comes to Fruit Juices you need to check the Food Label and see how much Water, Sugar and Preservatives you are paying for. You may be better off eating a couple of pieces of fruit or squeezing your own juice. Fruit Juices are a processed food and the majority of the fibre has been lost in the manufacturing process.

    Many proclaim to have added Vitamin C, and other Vitamins and Minerals, which is probably true, but check the amount per serve. You may be better off with the real deal, once more and have a piece of fruit instead.

    Always check the Used by Date on the bottle and remember to shake it well before you drink it as some settling or separation can occur while sitting on a shelf. Always follow the recommendations and refrigerate if necessary.

    You may have a thirst for Water. We need a constant supply of Water to replenish what is used each day during normal physical activities, such as respiration, perspiration and urination. It is essential for growth and is involved in many biological processes within the body. By the time your body triggers your thirst mechanism, you will already be suffering a degree of Dehydration.

    It is argued that Bottled Water is no better than ordinary Tap Water and studies have shown that people cannot tell the difference through taste or appearance. Bottled Water lacks fluoride, which may increase the risk of tooth decay in later generations. Bottled Water has its place when you think of Convenience, when you’re not at home, you’re probably not likely to go up to a tap and stick your head under it for a drink.

    Always have a supply with you when you exercise. Your body will be screaming out for it and if you become dehydrated your performance will suffer and decrease. It is recommended that we drink at least 8-10 glasses a day to fill our body’s daily requirements.Are you getting enough?” I sometimes am not, but if you make it a habit and drink a little throughout your day you can satisfy your needs.

    When you drink Water, especially if it is chilled, your body uses up more calories to digest it than if you were to drink it at room temperature. It refreshes you and it sustains life “It is the best way to Quench your Thirst and is the Ultimate Drink”.

    Of course the choice is yours, you make the decisions that ultimately affect you. You can drink whichever liquid refreshments you feel will be good for you, but remember that you only get out, what you put in.

    So basically you can Drink,

  • Plenty of Water.
  • A little Alcohol (in moderation)
  • Have the occasional Coffee or Tea through your day.
  • Steer clear of High Sugar, High Caffeine Sports Drinks (I wouldn't recommend more than 1 per day).
  • Have a Fruit Smoothie for breakfast occasionally.
  • Include a Fruit Juice now and then.
  • And that should help "Quench your Thirst".

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