A person can survive for weeks without food but only for a few days without water. That emphasises just how important this natural substance is for our bodies. Soft drinks contain anything between 89% and 99% water, making it the main ingredient.

That means that they can help quench thirst while contributing to your daily water intake. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends that women drink two litres of water a day and men two and a half litres a day. Just remember to balance the calories in any soft drinks with your lifestyle.

Keep track of how much fluid you’re glugging down with our Drinks Diary, and make sure you remember to...

Drink to cool down
When you feel thirsty, perhaps in hot weather or from doing exercise, that’s your body telling you that it needs more fluid. If your urine’s a dark yellow colour that’s another signal, as it should be a pale straw colour when you’re properly hydrated.

Drink more during exercise
If you’re moving about you will need to drink more. The amount of fluid consumed during exercise should ideally match what is lost through sweat. Water is fine for the purpose of rehydration, especially after the moderate kind of exercise that most active people choose.

For professional athletes and those doing high-intensity exercise, a hydrating sports drink such as Powerade can sometimes be more effective. 

Occasionally, we see a few questions around caffeinated drinks and hydration, but rest assured they contribute to your daily fluid intake too. In fact, according to the EFSA, your total intake can come from drinking water, other drinks and even from our food.