Many of us believe that drinking any beverage is automatically hydrating for our bodies. This is not true. Just because you are quenching your thirst by downing a whole 500ml bottle of cold drink, it doesn’t mean your body is thanking you for it.

Soft drinks often have a high caffeine base, a diuretic, which makes the body lose water before it has time to hydrate our cells. The other problem is the high sugar content which makes it hard for the body to metabolize the refined sugar in the soft drink. The body’s immediate reaction to this, is surrendering water from the extracellular fluid, making the person thirsty all over again. So the very drink you think is quenching your thirst, is actually making you thirstier than you were before.

Glass of colaAs if this is not already alarming, according to Discovery’s 2014 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) report card, South Africa has slid from a C- in 2010 to a D in 2014. With more and more children, buying lunch from school tuck shops that do not have healthier alternatives, South Africans drink three times the global average of certain soft drinks.

Now, the immediate thought may be “Goodness, I guess the only alternative is to make sure that my children drink only water and juice”. Again, this doesn’t have to be the case.

SodaStream uses normal tap water, carbonators – for the bubbles – and a range of exciting natural flavours which have 2/3 less sugar than other carbonated soft drinks. The delicious, colourful flavours make it fun and healthier for kids to drink.

SodastreamTwo other sugar-free variants of SodaStream use Stevia, which is an all-natural sweetener derived from a plant that is native to South America, is as sweetasugar, but is calorie-free.
Summer Lemon TrueSodastreamThere are a range of bottles that come in different sizes perfect for your child’s lunch-box. So instead of giving your family sugar-filled soft drinks, SodaStream is the healthier and sweeter alternative without the dehydration and fatigue.

Hydration

1. Everyone should drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Although it’s a nice reminder that most of us should aim to drink more, the truth is that not everyone requires 8 glasses of water a day to maintain adequate hydration. The amount of fluids that each person needs varies based on activity level, gender and body size. Other sources of fluids that contribute to hydration include carbonated drinks, juice, milk, coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables and other foods with higher water content.

2. Only water really hydrates you.

Not true. Many beverages with high water content contribute to the body’s hydration status, including fruit juices; teas and coffees, and of course healthier soft drink alternatives such as SodaStream to a certain extent. In addition, 20% of your hydration regularly comes from the food you eat.

3. Thirst is a good indicator and my body’s main signal that I need to drink.

Many people can use thirst as an indicator to rehydrate, but that may not always be reliable. As many of us know, thirst signals are easily ignored when it’s inconvenient to drink, and we do this regularly, so it’s tough to rely on thirst as a signal to drink. In addition, physical activity, high temperatures, stress and fatigue may increase water loss making it necessary to consume more than you usually need.

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