Icon - Drink water instead

Drink water instead

To satisfy thirst, drink water

The human body can last weeks without food but only days without fluid.

Water is the recommended fluid to satisfy thirst – and it is nature's choice.

Choosing water as your preferred drink will have a positive impact on your health. Water has a huge list of health benefits and it contains no kilojoules, is inexpensive and readily available. Water can also contain fluoride, which is good for your teeth.

Listen to your thirst

Your body will tell you when you are thirsty. Keep in mind that being thirsty is often a sign of already being dehydrated.

There is no ‘right’ amount of water to drink each day. The recommended amount of fluid depends on many factors. You may need to drink more water if you:

  • are exercising
  • are in a hot or humid climate
  • have a health condition such as a kidney stone (but note that some conditions such as being on dialysis mean that you have to drink less water)
  • are pregnant
  • are breast-feeding

Choosing to drink water and being careful about your fluid intake can help keep your kidneys healthy.

Watch out for salt & sugar

Some bottled mineral water contains salt. This can lead to fluid retention, swelling and even increased blood pressure in some people. Choose varieties that contain less than 30 mg of sodium per 100 ml.

Try to swap high-sugar drinks for water. Be sugar free!

For inspiration, watch this video of Tiwi children singing how important it is to drink fresh water instead of high-sugar drinks.

Food can also satisfy your fluid needs

The food that you eat also contributes to your fluid needs. Food provides about 20 per cent of total fluid intake. The remaining 80 per cent comes from water and drinks of all kinds.

Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and cucumbers, are nearly 100 per cent water!

Be wary of dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the water content of your body is too low. It can easily be fixed by increasing your fluid intake.

It’s important that you listen to your body's signals that you are thirsty or have not had enough fluid.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • mood changes
  • slow reaction times
  • dry nasal passages
  • dry or cracked lips
  • dark-coloured urine
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • hallucinations

There’s more good information in these articles that shows why water is the recommended fluid to satisfy thirst:

KHA position statement on drinking water
KHA position statement on fluoridation of drinking water
KHA position statement on sugar sweetened soft drinks and chronic kidney disease

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