According to the NHS Eatwell Guide we should be drinking 6-8 glasses/cups of fluid at least a day, and you need even more than that when the weather turns hot, you drink more alcohol than normal or you indulge in exercise.
Water is not THE life source without good reason.
Staying hydrated is essential for good health. Not drinking enough fluids can lead to headaches, decreased mood, and lower concentration which can all affect our efforts to eat healthily.
Without it our body’s fine tuned engine runs less efficiently, and parts of it may even pack up working properly.
If you have 4-5% less than the recommended daily amount of water, it can affect your mental & physical performance by up to 20-30%
Water flushes out the toxins in our bodies, which if they accumulate can cause dehydration which in turn causes tension, aches, pains, & headaches.
So how can you find out if you are dehydrated?
- Try pinching the skin on the back of your hand if it doesn’t immediately go back to normal then you are dehydrated
- Or when you visit the loo check out the colour of your wee the darker the colour the more dehydrated you are.
Water helps keep our joints well oiled, helping prevent joint disease such as arthritis in later life.
Water helps our gut work more efficiently, helping prevent constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, & many other related diseases.
Water hydrates your skin. Drinking enough water can combat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, wrinkles & spots.
If you are not keen on the taste of water try adding a squeeze or slice of the following to make your water more tasty:-
- Lemon to tone your kidneys
- Lime to tone your liver
- Orange for vitamin C
- Kiwi fruit for vitamin C
- Strawberries for the sheer indulgence
- Try water hot, maybe with freshly sliced ginger, for a refreshing drink that improves your circulation.
- Honey & lemon to make it even tastier & boost your immunity.
- Cucumber for vitamin C and is an antioxidant
- A dash of your favourite low calorie squash can be added to hot or cold water
Avoid citrus fruits if you have joint disorders like arthritis, rheumatism, gout or osteoarthritis
The closer to body temperature water is, the easier your body takes it where it needs to go. Very cold water can over-stimulate the kidneys. However in hot weather try adding your favourite frozen fruit as this will keep your drink cooler for longer, the frozen core of a fresh pineapple is especially and it’s something most people would normally throw away
Try different bottled or filtered waters until you find one you like. You’ll be a connoisseur before you know it!
But be aware that buying bottles of water to drink can often cost up to £14 a week which would work out at £728 a year so a good investment is a refillable water bottle and these are not only saving you money but there would also be 1,456 less empty plastic water bottles per person not being added to the plastic waste mountain
Drink at least an extra pint if it is hot or you are doing physical work or exercise.
Remember to spread your water intake out throughout the day and drink most of your quota before 6 pm. Especially if you don’t want to keep getting out of bed!!
Try to drink a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning to re-hydrate your body and get your engine going.
Drinking a mug of hot water with lemon before breakfast to help cleanse your system.
Every time you put the kettle on or someone offers you a drink, ask for a glass of water too or even a herbal tea, and don’t forget there are now even cold infusion teas bags that you can just add to your water to give it added flavour.
If you drink a glass of water half an hour before every meal it dampens your appetite, and always have a glass of water with your meals as this helps prevent or cuts down the amount of alcohol you might have with your meal and as alcohol can decrease the absorption of nutrients its not just about staying hydrated but also about giving your body the nutrients it need to stay healthy.
And as a particular benefit to us when we do drink the water it shows through in a better weight loss and remember you don’t have to like it to reap the benefits you just have to drink it!