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Health A to Z  —  4 minutes

Healthy beverages for your lunch box

September 6th, 2019
Catherine Vézina

For many people, making lunch is a daily task that soon leads to a lack of inspiration. As if that wasn’t enough, in addition to meals and snacks, you have to think about drinks, because you should not neglect hydration, especially in hot weather.

Many of the body’s functions are directly related to hydration. For example, maintaining body temperature and transporting nutrients depend on the water in our bodies, and dehydration can lead to lower energy levels, irritability and headaches. As a result, it is important to drink enough liquid during the day. To function, the body needs a minimum amount of water each day (including beverages and water from food [1]) that varies from 1.3 L to 3.7 L, depending on age and gender. gender.

Here are some ideas that you can bring to work or slip into your child’s lunchbox.

Beverages for all ages

Juice: Keep to a minimum?

Most fruit juices are sources of vitamins and minerals. However, they are also a major source of sugar. For example, a glass of orange juice, whether freshly squeezed or from the grocery store, can easily contain as much sugar as two to three oranges, even if it says “no added sugar” [2]. Consequently, it is advisable that juice not be your first choice of drink, and whole fruit is preferable to juice.

Milk, soy beverages and other drinks

Milk and soy beverages, almond beverages and others fortified with calcium and vitamin D are nutritious products that make a good complement to a meal or snack and are especially recommended for children. Ideally, the drink you choose contains protein and is enriched with calcium and vitamin D, to get the most nutrients from it. Cow’s milk and soy beverages, for example, contain all these things [3].


Smoothies can be an especially practical solution for people who have cravings between meals or difficulty eating a hearty breakfast. Simply combine fruit and yogurt, milk or soy beverage in a blender to create a nutritious and satisfying beverage that you can easily take to work or school.

Carbonated and flavoured water

Sparkling, carbonated or flavoured: there’s no shortage of water choices. There are now so many flavours available that you will probably find the one that is right for you or your children. Water that is flavoured without being sweetened is a good option to replace soft drinks.

Simply water

Although there is a wide variety of products to quench your thirst, the most hydrating drink remains plain water, which is always preferable. When you don’t have the habit or reflex of drinking water, this choice may seem less appealing. Adding fresh or frozen fruit, herbs such as mint or basil, or even natural flavours such as almond or vanilla extract, can make water more enjoyable while keeping the health benefits. On the internet, you will find an enormous variety of recipes that are definitely worth a try!

Beverages for adults

Homeade coffees and iced teas

When made at home, iced teas and coffees are a simple, quick and very refreshing option, unlike the store-bought versions , which can easily contain the equivalent of five to six packets of sugar for a small serving [4]. By preparing these drinks at home, you can control the amount of sugar and even the taste of your tea and coffee. Simply brew them as usual, then let them cool and add a little sugar or maple syrup. You can even prepare extra to drink over the next few days.

  1. Marci, A. (2018, Nov. 2). How Much Water You Need to Drink. Healthline [Newsletter article] Retrieved from
  2. Tropicana (2019) Tropicana Pure Premium® Original. Retrieved from
  3. Vanga S.K. and Raghavan, V. (2018, Jan. 29). Nutritionally speaking, soy milk is best plant-based milk. McGill University Newsroom [News release]. Retrieved from
  4. Tim Hortons (2019). Simply Good to Know. Nutrition & Wellness Information for You. Retrieved from