Hydration tips

Wednesday 2nd July

Some thirst-quenching advice to see you through the warmer weather. 

When it's hot, we start to sweat. This is the body's way of regulating its internal thermostat and naturally makes us feel thirsty.

“On a normal day, it is important to stay hydrated by having around six to eight glasses of fluid a day (about 1.2 litres),” says Dr Áine O'Connor at the British Nutrition Foundation. “However, we become more dehydrated when the weather is warm, so it is sensible to drink more fluid than you usually would.”

All fluids provide some degree of hydration, but some are better choices than others. “Plain water is the best drink for you and low-fat milk is also a healthy way of staying hydrated,” says Áine. If you’re not keen on plain tap water, she suggests adding slices of citrus fruit or drinking sparkling water instead.

“Fruit juices and smoothies contribute vitamins and minerals as well as hydration, but can damage teeth, so try and stick to 150ml a day and drink it at a mealtime.” When it comes to low-calorie and diet soft drinks, these also provide some hydration without increasing your calorie intake. Just try not to overdo drinks with added sugar, such as fizzy pop and squash. “These can be particularly harmful to teeth so should only be consumed occasionally and in small amounts,” says Áine. Tea and coffee also count of course, as both provide plenty of fluid - “but you should avoid adding sugar and be mindful of the caffeine.”

Alcohol and the heat

Brits consume more booze in the summer than at any other time of the year. Socialising outdoors, coupled with growing numbers of open-air festivals and sports events, means that one in four adults (24 percent) say they drink more during the summer. Barbecues are commonly associated with increased alcohol consumption, with 32 percent of adults in the UK saying this is when they are likely to drink the most.

“Holidays are the perfect opportunity to relax and have fun, but drinking to excess in the sun can result in more than just a hangover,” says Elaine Hindal, chief executive at Drinkaware, the alcohol education charity.

“It’s important to stay hydrated in the heat, especially if you are drinking alcohol, as it dehydrates you even further. To ensure you have a holiday to remember, if you drink, make every other drink a soft one and stick to the daily recommended guidelines of two to three units a day for women and three to four units a day for men.”

Further information

For more advice on alcohol and sensible drinking, visit the Drinkaware website.

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