Water is the best hydration liquid, but there are quite a few varieties to choose from:
Tap water undergoes treatment which ensures it is free of harmful micro-organisms and contaminants and is therefore perfectly safe to drink. South Africa’s national standard of water quality compares well with the World Health Organisation standards.
Bottled water is also a good choice. However, most people choose bottled water because they believe that it is safer and healthier than tap water. The regulations for bottled water are not as strict as those for tap water as FDA rules often don’t have the same prohibitions that municipal water has. It has also been stated that 40% of bottled water originates from the tap, with added minerals or filtration!
Sparkling water is carbonated with carbon dioxide under pressure. This will cause the body no harm, but may produce a small amount of flatulence and possibly gastric distension. If those symptoms don’t occur when you drink sparkling water, then this water is just as good substitute to still water for some variety.
What about cold water versus warm water. There is no difference once the water reaches your stomach, so if you like it ice cold in summer and boiling hot in winter, make sure you serve yourself the water in a way that will make you drink more, not less!
Flavoured and vitamin waters are the one’s you need to be careful of. The reason they taste so good is because they have added sugar (yes, even the vitamin water!) The amount of sugar is equivalent to 8 teaspoons of sugar or 2 slices of bread! This makes them very ‘expensive’ from a calorie perspective. If you are trying to lose weight you need to be careful not to drink extra calories. But even if you are not trying to lose weight, these waters give you nothing but energy (no extra vitamins, minerals and other goodness, unless added), so they would not be the best nutritional choice for you either. Some of the flavoured waters use sweeteners instead of sugar to sweeten the product. From a calorie perspective, these would be absolutely fine to have occasionally.
Bottom line, we need to drink enough water in a day, so whether you prefer tap or bottled, still or sparkling, warm or cold, just make sure you drink it. And enjoy it, as this is a habit you need to keep for life!
The number of glasses of fluid you need in a day = your weight, divided by 10, plus 2