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RETHINK YOUR SUMMER DRINK

- Water is the Best Choice for Quenching Thirst and Staying Well-Hydrated This Summer –

If you want the best drink around this summer, look no further than your tap.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit recommends drinking water on hot summer days to keep cool and stay well-hydrated. While water may not be top of mind when it comes to summer beverages, it has many good things going for it.

“On hot, sweltering days, plain water is the best drink around for us,” says Kimberly Leadbeater, a Registered Dietitian with the HKPR District Health Unit. “While we may savor the flavour of pop, alcohol or other beverages, we have to realize these drinks can dehydrate us and do little to quench our thirst.”

More than half of the human body is made up of water, so it is vital to replenish these fluids. According to Leadbeater, if people do not maintain adequate water levels, they can suffer from health problems such as headaches, constipation, kidney stones and impaired circulation. On extremely hot days, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can also result if people do not drink enough fluids like water.

“Water promotes hydration without adding empty calories,” adds Anna Rusak, a Health Promoter with the Health Unit’s Oral Health Department. “In terms of good oral health, water is also one of the best options because, unlike many other drinks, water has absolutely no sugar in it.”

By comparison, one can of pop contains 40 grams of sugar – equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar and close to the maximum daily recommended limit (Heart and Stroke Foundation). When sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth, acid can form – weakening tooth enamel and leading to cavities. Frequent sipping of sugary drinks – even drinks with naturally-occurring sugars such as 100 per cent juice and milk – will only increase the risk of tooth decay, Rusak notes. Not only is water an ideal thirst quencher on hot summer days, it is also a ‘safe’ drink for teeth as it helps to wash away bacteria in the mouth left over from meals and snacks.

Energy drinks are not a good option either, notes Leadeater, as they can be very sugary and contain high levels of caffeine which can dehydrate rather than quench thirst. Consuming multiple energy drinks, or mixing them with alcohol, can also lead to adverse health effects.

“Remember that when you’re out on the go this summer, it’s best to fuel your body with a bit of H2O,” Leadbeater adds.

For media inquiries, contact:

Kimberly Leadbeater, Registered Dietitian, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577

or Anna Ruask, Oral Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577.

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