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Your body needs fluids to survive and although you can go without food for some time, you cannot survive for many days without water. Water makes up about two thirds the weight of a healthy body and water is needed in every body function including nutrient transporting, lubricating joints, eyes and mouth, aids in the digestive system and removal of waste from the body to name a few.

The European food safety authority recommends that adult women should drink about 1.6 litres of water a day and adult men about 2 litres a day. That's about 8 glasses for women and 10 for men. Many people do not drink anywhere near this amount. The amount we need will vary on many things like size, ambient temperatures, exercise and many other factors. If it is a hot day and you are exercising hard then you will need more fluids. These fluids can be water but also other drinks like tea, coffee, juices and milk. There are other fluids like sugary drinks and fizzy drinks. These should be avoided as they can be high in calories and they are bad for your teeth.

The best choice for fluids is water as it has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. If you don't like the taste of water you can add lemon or lime or add a no sugar squash to give it flavour.

Tea and coffee do add fluids to our body but they also contain caffeine which is a stimulant which is why they make you feel less drowsy and more alert but a side effect can be that they make you produce more urine. Tea and coffee are fine in an adult's balanced diet but they should not be the only source of fluids. Pregnant women should limit their intake to high levels of caffeine can result in low birth weight of babies and there is some research to show an increase of miscarriage. Pregnant women should try and reduce their intake of caffeine to 200mg a day which is about two mugs of coffee.

Tea and coffee should not be given to toddlers and young children. Other drinks that have high caffeine content are sports and high energy drinks. Look at the labels to see what they actually contain, you may be surprised how high the levels are.

A good source of fluids and a supply of vitamins are fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies.

Fruit juices can contain many nutrients that are good for health and as 150 ml glass can count as one of your five a day but only one of your five a day even if you drink lots of them because they do not contain fibre which you would find in whole fruits and vegetables. Fruit juices also contain sugar that can damage teeth, however, these natural sugars are less likely to damage teeth.

Smoothies that contain 100% fruit or vegetable can count as up to two portions towards your 5 a day when they contain all of the edible pulped fruit or vegetable. This depends on the quantity of fruits or vegetables or the juice used, as well as how the smoothie has been made. However, juices drunk in addition to the smoothie don't count as anymore 5 A DAY portions in one day. This is also mainly because juice contains less fibre than whole fruits and vegetables.

Finally, it is worth mentioning alcohol. Alcohol intake should be reduced as it not only has the effect of making the person intoxicated but also there are about 7 calories per gram of alcohol which can lead to obesity and other medical conditions. It is recommended that women should consume no more than 2-3 units a day and men no more than 3-4 units per day. Drinking when pregnant can affect the development of the foetus and breastfeeding mothers can pass the alcohol to their baby.