Chapter 4. Water and Electrolytes
At this point you have learned how critical water is to support human life, how it is distributed and moved in the body, how fluid balance and composition is maintained, and the recommended amount of fluids a person should consume daily. In Canada you have a choice of thousands of different beverages. Which should you choose to receive the most health benefit and achieve your recommended fluid intake?
Reading the Label
Most beverages marketed in Canada have a Nutrition Facts panel and ingredients list, but some, such as coffee (for home consumption), beer, and wine, do not. As with foods, beverages that are nutrient-dense are the better choices, with the exception of plain water, which contains few to no other nutrients. Beverages do not make you full; they satiate your thirst. Therefore, the fewer calories in a beverage the better it is for avoiding weight gain. For an estimate of kilocalories in various beverages see Table 4.9 “Calories in Various Beverages”.
Table 4.9 Calories in Various Beverages
|Beverage||Serving Size (oz)||Kilocalories|
|Bottled sweet tea||12.0||129–143|
|Coffee, with cream||12.0||39–43|
|Caffe latte, whole milk||12.0||200|
Scientific studies have demonstrated that while all beverages are capable of satisfying thirst they do not make you feel full, or satiated. This means that drinking a calorie-containing beverage with a meal only provides more calories, as it won’t be offset by eating less food. Soft drinks and fruit drinks, increase energy intake, are not satiating, and that there is little if any reduction in other foods to compensate for the excess calories. All of these factors contribute to increased energy intake and obesity.
Table 4.10 Recommendations
|Beverage||Servings per day*|
|Water||≥ 4 (women), ≥ 6 (men)|
|Unsweetened coffee and tea||≤ 8 for tea, ≤ 4 for coffee|
|Nonfat and low-fat milk; fortified soy drinks||≤ 2|
|Diet beverages with sugar substitutes||≤ 4|
|100 percent fruit juices, whole milk, sports drinks||≤ 1|
|Calorie-rich beverages without nutrients||≤ 1, less if trying to lose weight|
|*One serving is eight ounces.|
Source: Beverage Panel Recommendations and Analysis. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. US Beverage Guidance Council. http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/nutrans/policy/beverage/us-beverage-panel. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Sources of Drinking Water