Q:

What are the benefits of drinking tonic water?

A:

Quick Answer

The primary benefit of drinking tonic water is the ingredient quinine. Quinine helps to fight off malaria. This disease comes from the bites of certain mosquitoes.

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Full Answer

While maintaining the far-flung British Empire, British soldiers had to work in conditions that involved heavy exposure to mosquitoes, which resulted in the need for quinine. Gin and tonic, one of the most commonly ordered drinks in Great Britain, was invented in the early nineteenth century. A British officer stationed in colonial India discovered that gin helped tonic water go down more agreeably, and a cultural icon was created.

Modern tonic water still has quinine, but the typical formulation is sweeter and more diluted. The purpose now is to help gin get down the throat more easily, so the tables have been turned. Tonic water is one of the few drinks that were once medicines that people now consume just for the purpose of taste.

Quinine does have some side effects that make it questionable to use as a primary medicine, though. For example, thrombocytopenia, or a decrease in platelet count, sometimes leads to external and internal bleeding. Due to side effects, the American government has tightly restricted prescriptions of quinine for medical purposes.

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    Is tonic water bad for your health?

    A:

    Tonic water contains quinine, which is an ingredient in prescription medications to treat malaria, and in high doses, quinine can cause severe adverse side effects, according to a report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A glass of tonic water typically contains around 20 milligrams of quinine, whereas a dose of the prescription drug has between 200 and 300 milligrams of quinine.

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    Is tonic water good for restless leg syndrome?

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    The quinine that tonic water contains can be effective in treating the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, according to Progressive Health. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of quinine for this syndrome in 2006, citing its potential to cause lethal effects.

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    Does tonic water help leg cramps?

    A:

    Doctors have prescribed quinine to treat leg cramps, but the amount of quinine in tonic water is too small to pose much of a benefit, as Harvard Health indicates. There are about 15 milligrams of quinine in 8 ounces of tonic water.

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    What are the advantages and disadvantages of drinking water?

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    Director of nutrition for WebMD Kathleen M. Zelman explains that drinking water has several benefits, including maintaining a balance of bodily fluids, controlling calories, energizing the muscles, keeping the skin looking good, helping the kidneys and maintaining a healthy bowel function. However, Glasgow-based general practitioner Margaret McCartney in a MailOnline.com article warns against drinking too much water, stating that drinking water when not thirsty may impair concentration.

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