Did you know that an adult could go up to eight weeks without eating, but would die within a few days if they don’t drink water ? This information is provided by Teresa Partearroyo Cediel, professor of Nutrition at CEU San Pablo University , explaining that water is a nutrient, on which the body is completely dependent.
Why should you have lunch (and dinner) with water instead of other beverages such as soft drinks, alcoholic beverages or juices? ” The benefit of ingesting water with food instead of another type of drink is that this drink is caloric – that is, it will not provide us with calories – while alcoholic beverages provide us with approximately 7 kilocalories per gram consumed and sugary drinks are also going to have a caloric intake depending on the amount of sugars they contain, ”says Partearroyo.
However, the Nutrition professor highlights that there is a wide variety of beverages on the market that do not have sugar in their composition and, therefore, can be an interesting option to replace water, as long as they are consumed in moderate amounts.
In fact, “the ingested water can come from various sources, mainly exogenous, that is, the water ingested through drinks (80%) and that contained in food (20%). The water content of foods is highly variable , but, in general, it can be said that it is practically non-existent in sugars and oils, low in cereals and derivatives and legumes and high in meat and fish and, especially, in fruits and vegetables ”. This is how Parterroyo explains it, concluding, therefore, that “ we must bear in mind that water is the ideal option when it comes to hydration. However , all liquids, including caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea , or flavored waters, contribute to the water intake ”.
It is a widespread custom among parents to give milk to their children of any age to drink during dinner. They do well? “ Milk contributes to water intake. In addition to providing calcium , which is essential for proper growth, since milk is one of the main dietary sources of the most bioavailable calcium in the Spanish population ”, says the expert.
It is also good to know that water helps the digestion of food , as it is an essential component of all body tissues. From the physiological, metabolic and structural point of view and, among other functions, it is essential in the physiological processes of digestion, absorption and excretion, because it is the means of transport par excellence of a multitude of substances, as well as toxic and waste products .
Effects on weight of eating with beverages other than water
The professor at the CEU San Pablo University emphasizes that “ any drink that has sugars or alcohol in its content can promote weight gain if consumed repeatedly. However, I do not think that the prohibition of any drink is the weapon to fight against overweight and / or obesity . What must be done is to make the population aware of the possible adverse effects that this type of product may have on the body. From my point of view, nutrition education is the main strategy that we must use, since it aims to implement changes in people’s behavior so that inappropriate attitudes for health become optimal for maintaining health “.
Is it still frowned upon to order “just water” when going out for lunch or dinner? “In this sense, I think that the population is changing, I see more and more water consumption when eating outside the home. However, I once again emphasize that ingesting another type of drink does not have a significant impact on health. And I stress the importance of a good nutritional education ”, underlines Partearroyo.
The myth that drinking water with meals makes you fat
There is a widespread belief that if you drink water during meals, you get fat. What is the reality? “Water being caloric, does not make you fat. In fact, water during the meal is satiating and makes us eat less of other foods that may be less healthy ”, indicates the nutrition expert.
When asked how much water should be drunk during a meal or at the end of the day , Partearroyo responds that it is not possible to indicate exactly the amount needed, since it depends on many factors, including the weather, the amount of physical activity that is carried out. realizes, the age and even the physiological state of the specific person. However, “the recommended daily fluid intake for women is around 11 glasses of water (2.2 liters), and for men it is 13 glasses (3 liters). Although, again, it should be remembered that the recommendations that have been indicated above will be supplied by 20% with the food we eat, so that some fruits and vegetables will also be a good option to hydrate ourselves ”.