1. Home  
  2. Health  
  3. Nutrition  
  4. Healthy eating habits  
  5. Water, the drink of choice to stay hydrated

Water, the drink of choice to stay hydrated

Water is the best drink to stay hydrated. There is no healthier drink.

Benefits of water

Water is essential for life. Drinking enough water every day will help:

  • Your body function properly
  • You feel refreshed
  • You quench your thirst
  • You feel energetic
  • You to concentrate better and be more attentive
  • You improve your visual attention and fine motor skills

Prevent dehydration

Prevent dehydration by making sure you drink enough water every day. Drink more water when it is hot or when you are physically active.

Dehydration, even when it is mild, can have harmful effects on both adults and children. The effects of dehydration are:

  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased endurance
  • Reduced tolerance for exertion
  • Headaches
  • Impaired memory and concentration
  • Mood changes
  • Impaired digestive, kidney and heart function

Tap water

In general, tap water is easily accessible. In Québec, a number of standards are in place to ensure we have excellent quality water. By applying these standards, potentially harmful contaminants can be monitored.

Drinking tap water instead of bottled water is an eco-responsible choice. Reducing the use of single-use plastic bottles reduces waste production and pollution from the manufacture, transportation and disposal of these bottles.

Drink water more often

Think about drinking water whenever you can. Here are a few tips that might help:

  • Put a pitcher of water in the middle of the table at meals.
  • Put water in your children’s lunch boxes, in a reusable bottle, instead of sugary drinks.
  • Ask for a glass of water with your meal when you eat out (restaurants, arenas, sports centres, etc.).
  • Carry water in a reusable bottle when you go out or when you do a physical activity so that you buy less bottled water or other types of drinks. Some reusable bottles keep water cold for several hours.
  • Drink tap water at home instead of a sugary drink. Think about buying fewer sugary drinks or not buying them at all. If you don’t have them at home, you and your family will drink fewer sugary drinks.

Add flavour

Try mixing things up occasionally by drinking infused water or sparkling water.

You can add fruits and vegetables (strawberries, cucumber, watermelon, etc.), herbs (mint, basil, rosemary, etc.) or a few drops of almond or coconut extract to give your water flavour. Let yourself be inspired by the moment.

Store-bought flavoured water and liquid and powder flavourings are not recommended. Their acidity might cause dental erosion. Beware of citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Their acidifying properties can also cause dental erosion, depending on the amount added and frequency of use.

Apart from water, low-fat milk and enriched, unsweetened plant-based drinks, such as soy drinks, are also nutritious choices.

Limit your intake of sugary drinks

Water is the best drink to quench your thirst and it does not have any calories, unlike many drinks on the market. Water is a healthy and inexpensive alternative to sugary drinks.

Choose water instead of:

  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit-flavoured punch or cocktails
  • 100% pure fruit juice
  • Sports drinks
  • Sweetened water
  • Energy drinks
  • Tea or coffee beverages with added sugars (e.g., iced tea)
  • Flavoured milk or plant-based beverages (e.g., chocolate milk, vanilla soy beverage)

Sugary drinks should be consumed occasionally and in small amounts.

Warning about energy drinks

Avoid drinking energy drinks regularly. They contain a lot of sugar, and their high caffeine content may have undesirable side effects.

On top of the risk of developing a dependency on energy drinks, they can also cause:

  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea

Furthermore, energy drinks are not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children and people who are sensitive to caffeine. Also, they should not be mixed with alcohol.

Helpful websites

Last update: July 15, 2022


Was the information on this page useful to you?
General notice

You have questions or require additional information?

Please contact Services Québec