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Heart-healthy drinks
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart-healthy drinks

While water is clearly the most heart-healthy drink, there are other drinks that can be enjoyed in moderation.

Key takeaways

  • When the weather is warm or we’re exercising, our bodies need more water than usual.  
  • Healthy men and women should drink no more than more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day. 
  • Try to limit sugary drinks such as soft drink, cordial, fruit drinks (that are less than 98 per cent fruit), and sports and energy drinks.
3 min read

When it comes to heart-healthy drinks, there’s none better than water. Our bodies need it. In fact, we’re mostly made up of water, including our major organs, such as the heart. Most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water, and it helps our blood carry nutrients around the body. That's why it's important to drink water every day. Plain tap water is the best choice. It's cheap, quenches your thirst and has no kilojoules.

Common drinks (other than water) 

In addition to water, it’s fine to have these drinks in moderation:  

  • Plain soda water 
  • Unflavoured milk 
  • Herbal tea, tea or coffee (regular or decaffeinated) with milk. 
While it’s better to eat your fruits and vegetables whole, it's also fine to have a small glass (125ml or about ½ cup) of 98 per cent fruit or vegetable juice sometimes. Try adding sparkling or still water to make the drink last longer. 

Unhealthy drinks 

Sugary drinks 

Sugary or sugar-sweetened drinks  are very high in sugar and kilojoules and provide little, if any, nutritional value. We recommend that all people limit sugary drinks such as soft drink, cordial, fruit drinks (that are less than 98 per cent fruit), and sports and energy drinks. 

You can cut down on sugary drinks by:

  • Buying a reusable water bottle, so you can take your own water everywhere you go. 
  • Keeping water in the fridge, so you can have cold water to drink whenever you're thirsty. 
  • Adding chopped fresh fruit or vegetables to cold still or sparkling water for a refreshing drink. Consider trying mint, lemon or cucumber. 

Alcohol 

Healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.

The less you choose to drink, the lower your risk of alcohol related harm and for some people not drinking at all is the safest option.

Children and young people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol.

To reduce the risk of harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.

For people with cardiovascular disease or risk factors, the evidence is not strong enough to recommend a safe amount of alcohol and some individuals may need to not drink at all. 


Learn more about a heart healthy diet

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