Water .. and other Fluids
What to drink when thirsty?
The only DRINK that's fit to DRINK is water. The rest of it is either food or something that is not good for you. Juices are liquidised food. Coconut water is liquid food. Tea, coffee, soda, soft drinks, alcohol, etc etc are harmful to the body to varying degrees. So when you are thirsty, drink.WATER and nothing else.
How much water to drink?
The amount of water a person needs depends on his age, weight, the climate he lives in, the kind of work he does, the kind of food he eats etc, A labourer working outdoors in hot weather needs a lot more than an office worker doing a sedentary job. A person eating a lot of raw fruits and vegetables needs less water than one eating a lot of cooked and spicy food. .
So how much water should we drink? As much as thirst demands. Thirst is the best indicator. When you feel thirsty, drink until your thirst is quenched. Never put off thirst, your body can get dehydrated. I try to drink at least one litre of water a day – if not one and a half. Check your urine. If it is colourless or pale yellow and the quantity is copious, you are doing fine.
The "so-called' minerals in the mineral waters are inorganic and unusable by the body. It, therefore, confers no health benefit whatsoever on the drinker. But the health and profits of the mineral water selling companies improve. If you drink bottled mineral water because clean water is otherwise not immediately available, that's fine. But don't be under any illusions that it is good for health.
Carbonated Soda or Sparkling water
The gas put in the water has to be eliminated by the body since it can't be used. The only saving grace about soda is that it is less harmful than soft drinks like colas
Regular (non-diet) Soft drinks like Colas etc
Soft drinks are anything but soft on the body.
One can of a soft drink has between five to seven teaspoons of sugar depending on the brand. Sugar itself is a serious health hazard - besides disturbing the body's chemical balance it also loads you with unnecessary empty calories. There are about 200 calories in a can, but virtually no other nutrients. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines soda as of "minimal nutritional value.". Huge consumption of soft drinks in the west is one of the causes of obesity. The high sugar content of these drinks also contributes to tooth decay.
Cola drinks contain caffeine which can result in addictive caffeine dependence. Some studies have also linked high consumption of these drinks to bone weakening, especially in young girls.
There are also a lot of chemicals and adhesives and artificial colours and flavours put into these soft drinks, which no one knows the long term impacts of.
Finally, do you know what they put in the drink to keep it fizzy and not go "flat" phosphoric acid! That's made by treating phosphorus with sulfuric acid. It is otherwise used for etching glass. Of course, they say, it is in minute quantities, but it's not something I would like to put into my body.
Diet Soft Drinks (diet colas etc)
If anything, these could be worse than the "real thing". If you must drink soft drinks, drink the regular stuff. Stay away from the diet drinks. The artificial sweeteners used are toxic chemicals that have incompletely researched effects on the body.
The dangers of alcohol are well known and documented so I will not go into them here.
Suffice to say, alcohol is poison. Any living cell that comes into contact with alcohol dies. Each drink you take kills millions of cells. The body cannot use alcohol so every bit of it has to be excreted. The body uses all channels to excrete it as rapidly as possible including the skin, the lungs, and the kidneys. That's why the breath, "beer breath", sweat or urine of someone who is drinking smells of alcohol. The liver which is responsible for detoxification of all the toxins that get into the body is heavily taxed by alcohol consumption and is the first casualty of alcohol.
Juices are not drinks, they are liquid food. They should be consumed when hungry not thirsty. Fresh fruit juices, are much better than bottled or canned juices which have sugar and other toxic colourings, flavours, antioxidants and chemical preservatives.
Even the 100% natural juices which state "No added sugar, colour, preservative and flavours" are sterilised /pasteurised/ boiled to kill germs and stop the juice from spoiling. This process also kills all the enzymes and destroys almost all the vitamins as well. So while a natural juice is better than one with chemicals and sugar added, it is not of much value.
Juices are of maximum value to toothless individuals who cannot chew their food. Convalescing patients, infants etc also do well on fresh juices. Fresh Vegetable juice supplies the body with a lot of nutrients and is extremely healthy in moderation.
Avoid overconsumption of juices. These foods are concentrated with nutrients - which put a load on the body. The fibre is removed in the juicing process so the sugars too get concentrated. More than one glass or two glasses of juice a day may not be a very good idea. Moderation is the key.
To summarise, fruit and vegetable juices are healthy FOODS but they are not to be drunk in place of water.
Tea and Coffee
To put it bluntly, black tea and coffee are socially acceptable drugs. But that does not change their nature- they are drugs they that the body gets addicted to. Caffeine in coffee, along with thousands of other chemicals, and tannin in tea are addictive drugs. The headaches and other symptoms a regular tea or coffee drinker get when he misses his cup of favourite poison on time are nothing but milder versions of withdrawal symptoms experienced by drug addicts when they give up their drugs.
All drugs including tea and coffee are stimulants to the nervous system. The "refreshing, invigorating" feeling you get after you drink your cup, is a weak and tired body, which, instead of being allowed to rest, is being whipped into action. The body reacts in the same way as a tired horse does when whipped it runs faster. But if pushed long enough it drops dead.
The body tries to eliminate the poisons, but since it is being constantly loaded with them it lacks the energy to complete this process. When you stop drinking the stuff, the body gets a chance and starts collecting all the toxins in the bloodstream in preparation for elimination. This higher level of toxins is what causes headaches, discomfort etc. you feel when you miss or give up your daily cuppa. If you grit your teeth and bear with it- in a few hours or days, depending on the degree of abuse that has happened, the body will eliminate these toxins. Headaches and discomfort will vanish. And you will not have a headache any more if you stay off these drinks. Green tea is the only exception. A cup or two a day (without milk and sugar) is good for health.