Good hydration is a basic health requirement. It sounds so simple doesn’t it, to drink around 2 litres of fluids a day but it’s something that many people struggle with.
Water makes up about 75% of your body and every single cell needs water to function properly. Every day the body needs to replace about 2.4 litres of water. It’s part of every tissue, contained in every cell and we lose it through sweat, going to the loo, breathing and even tears!
Water is necessary for all kinds of functions in the body, including circulation and digestion as well as maintenance of body temperature. It also cushions your joints and protects the brain and spinal column.
Drinking water also keeps you energised and your skin hydrated. So, if you’re full of energy and your skin is glowing, that’s a sure-fire way to feel good about yourself. I might also add that studies have shown that drinking water raises your metabolism and improves your fat burning rate.
Keep track of how much you’re drinking
There are various apps for smart phones to help encourage you to drink more and record what you drink. However, a good goal is to get yourself a 1.5L bottle of water and ensure you finish this by the end of the day – on top of any other drinks you’re having. The bottle is a visual reminder of how well you are doing. Ideally, you want to work up to having 2 litres a day.
Let me ask you if any of these resonate with you:
- Do you feel tired, grumpy and have trouble concentrating or processing information?
- Do you have a dry mouth, lips, skin?
- Do you have bad breath, constipation and headaches?
If so it could very well be the case that you are not getting enough water!
Did you know that thirst is often confused with hunger and so can lead to over-eating?
Conveniently, the body can give you other clues as to whether you are drinking enough or not. It’s in the colour of your urine. The ideal situation is that you have clear to very pale yellow urine. Light yellow is also OK.
Use this handy infographic to check whether you’re fully hydrated or not.
What to drink when you don’t like water
When the weather is hot, your body needs more water. But if you’re not a natural water-drinker it can be tricky to make sure you’re getting enough.
Infused water is an excellent way to quench your thirst without having to resort to fruit squash, fizzy drinks or even fruit juice. A large jug of fruit-infused water can be very appealing on a sunny day. You can also take these recipes and adjust quantities if you are using a water bottle.
- 2l water
- 8 lemons, squeezed (around 280 ml)
- 1/2-3/4 tsp liquid stevia (try NuNaturals)
- 250g strawberries, sliced
In a large jug combine water, lemon juice and stevia. Simply stir in sliced strawberries and serve over ice.
Cucumber, mint and lemon fizz
- 1.5ltr sparkling water
- half a cucumber, sliced
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 lemon, sliced
Put all the ingredients in a large jug, chill and serve.
- 4tbsp Cherry Active
- 500ml sparkling water
Add sparkling water to the Cherry Active and serve with ice.
Cherry Active is available in health shops and is a concentrated juice from Montmorency cherries. These are high in antioxidants and it also has been shown to increase melatonin production thus improving sleep https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22038497. Cherries have also been demonstrated to lessen attacks of gout https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6535740.
Kombucha is a healthy alternative to sparkling soft drinks known for being full of naturally occurring vitamins, acids and beneficial bacteria.
It is now fairly widely available in many supermarkets but you can also make your own.
Get creative and create your own recipe
You can easily put together your own recipe for infused water using your favourite fruits and herbs. Apple cider vinegar can also make a tasty addition.
Some good combinations might be orange and kiwi, lime and mint or strawberries and basil.
You can also enjoy your favourite herbal tea as an iced drink. Simply brew the tea, leave to cool in the fridge and add ice to make an iced tea. Ginger and citrus teas work particularly well.
I love that there are so many tasty ways to keep the body hydrated this summer. Getting our 2ltrs each day is easily done once we get creative with our flavours and develop the right habits to remind us to keep topped up!