Water is a life-giver. It’s why our planet is so lush and verdant, and what keeps the internal systems of each and every living thing ticking along smoothly. By optimising your water intake, you can fill the body with the resource it needs to support you in your daily life, and help you discover a new and improved sense self. It’s a simple equation; hydration = health + happiness.
What does water do for the body?
We’re 60% water, so it’s no surprise to find that staying properly hydrated can help a whole range of your body’s systems perform at their best, giving you a feeling of greater wellbeing. Drinking enough water helps you:
- Regulate your body temperature
- Protect your internal organs and tissues
- Keep your tissues moist (such as mouth, eyes and nose)
- Lubricate joints for suppleness
- Enhance mood and reduce stress
- Maintain a regular digestive system
- Dissolve and absorb minerals and other nutrients
- Flush out toxins and reduce the burden on your kidneys and liver
- Keep oxygen flowing to cells
- Minimise calorie intake (by avoiding soft drinks and eating water-rich foods)
- Reduce muscle fatique
- Improve skin quality
How much water do I need to drink every day?
You should be aiming to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day as a basic rule of thumb. To maintain optimal hydration, men should aim to drink 3 litres every day, while women should aim for around 2.2 litres.
However, your optimal level depends on a whole range of factors, from how active your lifestyle is, to the size of the glass, to your own personal proportions. If you’ve got an active job or maintain a daily exercise regime, you should try drinking half a litre of water around two hours before you start, and drink at more regular intervals throughout the day. There’s a neat trick you can do to work out the right amount of water for your bodyweight if you know the imperial system; drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (e.g. if you weight 160lbs, drink 80oz water).
Top tips for better hydration
There’s so much you can do to make staying properly hydrated a tasty, effortless and ultimately rejuvenative experience. Here’s a few of my golden rules:
Hydration no no’s
- Fizzy soft drinks aren’t as potent at keeping you hydrated and contain excess kilojoules. Tea (hot and iced), coffee, milk and soup are all more nutritious options if you want more flavour, but water is still number one.
- Alcoholic drinks are one of the few types of liquid that will actively dehydrate you. While they still contain water in some form, the alcohol causes your kidneys to release fluids.
- Many brands of mineral water contain salt, which makes you retain fluid and increases blood pressure. Either try tap water, or find a low-sodium mineral alternative.
How to remind yourself to re-hydrate regularly
- Always keep a bottle or glass of water to hand
- Set up eight or more daily reminders on your phone
- Buy a fancy bottle used just for water to give yourself something to look forward to
- Mark the equivalent of individual glasses on a large bottle (2 litres or larger) and write the time by which you should have drunk this amount on the outside of the bottle
- Create a social media challenge and receive encouragement from friends
Interesting ways to spice up your water intake
- Add fresh or frozen fruit to your water, or make fruity ice cubes from freshly squeezed juice (citrus fruits, berries, mango, cucumber and peach will give you an irresistible dash of flavour)
- Eat more foods that have a high in water content (soups, fruit, vegetables – even porridge)
- Use herbs and extracts to take your concoctions to the next level. Infuse mint and vanilla in warm water and pour over ice. Have fun with it and find your favourite combinations!
- Change textures. Mix it up between chilled water, ice cubes and crushed ice so that you never get bored of such a crucial element.
Contact me today and find out more about how to fine-tune your nutritional intake for greater health and wellbeing.