I was reading an online article from a chap I follow called ‘Dr. Mercola’ where he wrote about why quenching one’s thirst with the increasingly trendy sports drinks is not necessarily a good idea… His article revealed that while most people believe sports drinks are the best way to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes when exercising, it’s simply not true. According to Mercola, many of these popular sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of traditional carbonated beverages. Apparently, they also typically contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial flavours and food colouring agents, none of which make any contribution towards our optimal health.

There is little debate about the fact that too many people choose carbonated drinks rather than pure water to relive their thirst and re-hydrate. The number one source of calories in the U.S. comes from high fructose corn syrup primarily found in their ‘soda’. Americans reportedly drink a gallon of soda each week, and excessive fructose consumption is believed to be a driving force behind both obesity and chronic degenerative disease in that country.

From a strategic health perspective, the most practical and economical strategy for governments to combat obesity and chronic disease would seem to be encouraging consumers to replace their carbonated drinks and other sweet beverages with pure water. I’ve written to various UK government ministers about reducing the obscene 20% VAT charged on our own (more ecologically sensitive & suitable for infants) bottled water in the UK, yet the leaders of our nation seemingly have no appetite to engage on any area outside of their core remit. They’re good at dropping sound-bites into the media, like “we support a low carbon economy” or “we must tackle obesity as it’s a growing problem” but not so great at following through with practical steps to prove that support…

So the status quo continues and in the context of the healthy water versus unhealthy sugary alternatives, the nominal tax revenues generated from bottled water sales is bound to be more than eaten up by the ‘cost’ of the corresponding ailments in the population to the National Health Service. How can it possibly make sense to tax something good for you, at the exact same punitive level of something which is patently not good for you? Or for that matter, something with a high carbon footprint at the same level as something with a proven lower impact?

Remember, that no matter what newspaper of other articles you may read, pure, wholesome drinking water is a fundamental requirement for healthy humans and animals alike. Our bodies are mostly water, so the ongoing intake of water is essential for our every function. Articles which say tea and coffee are as good as water cannot be right. I’m no scientist, but how can something high in caffeine, which acts as a diuretic that will dehydrate you even further, be good for you?

Think about it and watch your urine colour. ‘Pale straw’ is optimum with little or ideally no smell at all. That’s your personal indicator of what your body needs to maintain its unique hydration level based on whatever you’re doing in your life at any particular time. :)