The Library

Hydration and Alcohol

Why is water important for our health?

As 70% of the human body is made up of water, it is crucial to drink enough fluid to keep your body working effectively. Staying hydrated helps with digestion, regulating your body temperature and keeping your organs functioning properly. Ensuring you are drinking enough water also improves your brain function, mood and the quality of your sleep. Not drinking enough fluid can cause poor concentration, headaches, constipation and over a longer-term, dehydration can increase the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections.  

How much should I drink?

Everyone has different fluid requirements depending on age, gender, body weight and activity levels, but aiming for 2 litres of fluid a day is suitable for most. If you are doing lots of exercise or if you are in warmer weather, you should increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated. A good way to monitor if you are drinking enough is to check the colour of your urine, it should be pale - straw colour, from 4-5 hours after waking up.  

Tips to help stay hydrated:

  1. Keep a reusable bottle of water with you throughout the day -using one with times of the day on it can be particularly helpful.
  2. Add a slice of lemon or lime to water to help improve the taste.
  3. If hungry between meals, try and have a drink before having a snack as thirst can sometimes be mistaken as hunger.
  4. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink- by this point you are already dehydrated, so ensure you are drinking regularly throughout the day.
  5. Use an app to send reminders to your phone and to help track your fluid intake- suitable ones are “Drink Water Reminder” and “Water Reminder- Daily Tracker”.
  6. Limit caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, energy drinks) and alcohol as these are diuretics so can increase water removed from the body rather than keeping you hydrated.
  7. Eat fruit and vegetables with a high-water percentage – tomatoes, cucumber, melon, peaches, lettuce, celery, spinach, pineapple.

Drinks to limit/avoid:

  • Fresh fruit juices - these juices are high in sugar and should be limited to no more than 150ml daily. Swap for: eating the whole fruit, rather than drinking the fruit juice so it retains its fibre.
  • High calorie coffee drinks - these drinks can be high in both sugar and calories - a Starbucks medium sized caramel frappuccino contains 311 calories and 43.7g of sugar - this is more than your total recommended daily intake of sugar (30g).  Swap for: Regular coffee/ tea/ herbal tea.
  • Fizzy drinks - these are often high in sugar and caffeine. Swap for: Sugar free squash and sparkling water.
  • Energy drinks - these drinks are high in caffeine (some contain nearly 8 times as much as a regular cup of coffee) and can be high in sugar. Swap for green tea, coffee or a healthy high carb snack.  

Alcohol

It is easy to forget the high calorie content in alcohol when focusing on our diets. But with a large glass of wine containing as many calories as a slice of cake and a pint of cider containing as many calories as a slice of pizza, it is important to limit alcohol intake to maintain a healthy weight.  

Alcohol has no nutritional value- it lacks essential nutrients and vitamins needed to sustain health. It also slows down the number of calories you can burn through exercise and increases your appetite, which can lead to overeating. It is therefore important to keep alcohol intake to a moderate level.  

The weekly recommended limit of alcohol for both men and women is 14 units spread over at least 3 days. This is advised to keep health risks from alcohol to a lower level.  Reducing your alcohol intake could help you lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and will also reduce your risk of developing some types of cancer, liver and heart disease.  

Use the table below to help calculate the units and calories of drinks consumed. These figures are a general guide and can vary slightly depending on brands:

Calories and units in alcoholic drinks:

ALCOHOLIC DRINK                                          CALORIES                    UNITS  

BEER 4% ABV PINT (568ML)

182

2.3

WINE 13% ABV SMALL GLASS (250ML)

225

3.3

SPIRITS 40% ABV SHOT(25ML)

61

1

CIDER 4.5% ABV PINT (568ML)  

216

2.6

ALCOPOPS 4% ABV BOTTLE (330ML)

231

1.3

Tips to reduce alcohol intake:

  1. Swap to a lower strength or non-alcoholic drink.
  2. Alternate with a water/non - alcoholic drink in between each alcoholic one.
  3. Have several drink free days each week.
  4. Before drinking, set a limit and stick to it.
  5. Offer to be a designated driver.
  6. Avoid drinking in rounds- this often results in people drinking more than they planned.
  7. Find and plan social alternatives that don’t involve alcohol.
Transform Healthcare Limited is registered with the Care Quality Commission. Cosmetic surgery results and benefits can vary and are different for each individual. As such, Transform Healthcare Limited cannot guarantee specific results. Transform is a trading name of Transform Healthcare Limited, registered in England and Wales, Company Registration Number – 10616065. TRANSFORM HEALTHCARE HOLDINGS LIMITED is an Appointed Representative of Funding Falcon Ltd which is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TRANSFORM HEALTHCARE HOLDINGS LIMITED (FRN:988595) has been added as an Appointed Representative under Funding Falcon Ltd (FRN:743100). Effective date: 29/11/2022

Transform Healthcare Limited is registered at, 132 Manchester Road, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, OL11 4JQ