You are in Nestlé Malta
With temperatures rising throughout the long, hot summer, it is absolutely vital to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. Nestlé Malta Dietitian Mirko Cirolli explains why – and how – we can do exactly that.
We all know the age-old adage that ‘water is life’. In fact, put simply, water is essential for life because it makes up an incredible 65-to70 per cent of our body.
Should I drink more water?
Well, the important thing here is to drink enough water – because if you do not, you could become dehydrated. This could make you feel thirstier and give you a dry, sticky mouth (a condition known as xerostomia), but could also lead you to experience symptoms like fatigue, poor concentration, headache or light-headedness.
How much water should I drink?On average, the recommended amount of water needed every day is 950-1,550ml for children and 1,600-2,000ml for adults. That said, this all depends on how active you are, as well as how hot and humid it is. If you want to know if you are drinking enough water, take a look at the colour of your urine – which should be a light straw or pale yellow colour. If it is darker than that, then you probably need to drink more.
Should I encourage my children to drink more water?
Absolutely! While adults have mechanisms to regulate the water in their body, children’s mechanisms are not quite as developed yet, which means you will need to keep an eye on them. Meanwhile, little children may not be able to communicate how thirsty they are, and could be feeling very thirsty. With that in mind, it is important to keep an eye on how much your children are drinking – especially as evidence suggests that children who drink more water do perform better in attention and memory tests.
I am looking after someone who is elderly. Should they drink more water, or less?
Elderly people are actually more vulnerable to dehydration so, yes, it is important they drink more. As they get older, some people also worry about incontinence or have difficulties accessing drinks, so their fluid intake could go down. However, evidence suggests that elderly people should drink more because being dehydrated could lead to accidental falls, the altered elimination of drugs, and urine tract infections. As a result, regular drinks should be encouraged.
There are so many types of drinking water on the market today… what should I bear in mind when choosing the best brand to drink?
It is true – choosing the right water can be confusing. But there are three key things you should look for on labels if you want to know which water brand to buy – the total dissolve solids (TDS), the pH content, and the nitrate content.
Put simply, TDS refers to any minerals, salts, and metals dissolved in the water, and comprises of inorganic salts (principally calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates). Without medical advice, TDS should always be less than 1,000mg/L – but cannot be too low, as that would give it a flat and insipid taste.
Next up, the pH value of a water source is a measure of its acidity or alkalinity. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Water with a low pH is said to be acidic, and water with a high pH is basic, or alkaline. Acidic water can cause problems for human consumption, so it is important to check that your water has a well-specified pH level.
Finally, the World Health Organisation suggests that nitrate in drinking water should be less than 3 mg/L. High nitrate concentrations have been linked to a number of concerns, including the ‘baby blues syndrome’, while, in other cases, high nitrates may combine to dietary protein forming a carcinogenic substance called nitrosamine, which seems to be linked to different types of cancer.
So, all-in-all, is it vital to consider choosing the right water for you and your family, based on it having the adequate amount of minerals, optimal pH levels, and low levels of nitrates. Be sure to read the product labels when choosing the water you drink, and to make an educated choice.
Nestlé Vera is available from all leading supermarkets, groceries and confectioneries.