Relieving thirst with sugary drinks can dehydrate and cause illness

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Consuming drinks with high sugar content and sweeteners to relieve thirst can cause dehydration and develop various diseases, a specialist said today.

“The body takes water from the cells to metabolize the sugar, which is why when you drink sugary drinks you are thirstier because you need to compensate for the water you are losing,” said Beatriz Frausto, expert in clinical nutrition at the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) in Jalisco.

The expert said that when there are high temperatures, natural water is the only drink that can hydrate the body healthy as opposed to sports drinks, soft drinks or juices, which have a detrimental effect on health.

The nutritionist explained that the abuse of sports drinks could cause severe damage to health, because the antidiuretic hormone, which regulates the excretion of liquids, is adequate to filter a certain degree of nutrients, which in excess demand more work of the body.

Frausto commented that the sensation of thirst is a physiological signal that the organism is in the process of dehydration, so it is necessary to level the intake of natural water during the day without waiting for the appearance of thirst.

The adequate daily water consumption in an adult person is 30 to 35 milliliters per kilogram of weight, or 1 to 1.5 milliliters per kilocalorie contributed from their diet, although it can vary by age, renal function, intensity of exercise that performs and climate temperature.

Because the human body is constituted in 70% of water, in heat season it is necessary to increase the consumption of this drink since the sweating is greater and with it liquids that regulate body temperature are lost.

The loss of fluids through sweat is 50 milliliters per minute in which electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are lost, nutrients that help the water balance of cells, tissues and muscles.

Beatriz Frausto indicated that it is advisable to recover electrolytes through serums or vegetables, not in the form of sports drinks that are designed for high performance athletes.

The healthy consumption of sports drinks in a person who is not an athlete can be up to 240 milliliters a day, approximately one cup, not 500 or 600 milliliters, which commonly contain the containers of these drinks.

The specialist added that sports drinks contain dyes and are sweetened with sugars or artificial sweeteners unnecessary for the body, which works twice to degrade substances that do not require.

“By doing more work, the kidney will tire, then stones are made to accumulate that excess (of unnecessary substances),” said Frausto, adding that substances such as sugars and sweeteners are also associated with the development of diabetes mellitus and caries.

In addition to that, based on the mistaken idea that the consumption of soft drinks or juices quench thirst, there is more chance of gaining weight due to the intake of high caloric content, as each can contains up to six tablespoons of sugar.

Frausto acknowledged that in Mexico “there is no education to drink natural water” because flavored drinks are preferred, so he suggested adding lavender, mint or jamaica to make the taste of the water pleasant.

“Natural water is what is really going to quench your thirst and is what our body needs to function well,” he said.

According to the IMSS, the risk of dehydration increases in the heat season and its symptoms range from thirst, headache, dry mouth, little volume of urine, to loss of consciousness, cold extremities and low or undetectable blood pressure.

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