H2O Hero! How Much Water Should We Be Drinking?
It is probably no surprise that most people do not drink enough water. Water is essential for your body to operate effectively and just a small drop in hydration can have a huge effect. Water is in all our cells, organs and tissues, helping to regulate our temperature, assits with digestion of food, helps our body to absorb nutrients and transports these nutrients around our body to where they are needed. Just a few examples which demonstrate just how important water is for us! Aim to drink 1.5-2 litres of water a day and more if you exercise or the weather is hot (the second point is not so applicable if you are like me and live in the UK!) Below I have provided some useful hints and tips to get you started:
- Buy a water bottle, one you like, that is easy to carry and one you will keep with you all day long. Keep it full and keep sipping throughout the day.
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning before you do anything else. This will help the body by firing up your metabolism and flushing out toxins. If you add a squeeze of lemon to the water that will help to boost your immune system, improve digestion, alkaline your body and could aid weight loss! Bonus!
- Ask for water when you are out with your cup of coffee or meal.
- Choose water whenever you have the chance, in a meal deal or swap one coffee/tea a day for a refreshing glass of water.
- If you like sparkling water try that as a different option, you can add lemon or lime which makes it taste amazingly refreshing and it is a sugar free alternative to a fizzy drink.
- Add fruit, cucumber or mint to your water for additional taste. You do it with Gin and Tonic and Pimms so why not spice up the old H2O?
- Add herbal teas into your diet. They help to increase your water uptake, taste great and herbal teas like peppermint tea can also aid digestion.
- Don't be fooled into thinking tea and coffee will help to hydrate you. Whilst most contain water, they also contain caffeine which can have a diuretic effect, causing your body to produce urine and increasing the risk of dehydration.
- Alcohol is much the same, have you heard the phrase 'breaking the seal'? Alcohol is also a diuretic which makes you want to urinate more. Alcohol suppresses the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) which is the hormone that tells your kidneys to work harder to absorb water. Alcohol stems this hormone so you need to urinate frequently meaning that alcohol dehydrates rather than hydrates you.
- Eat foods that are rich in water, thats right fruit and vegetables can help to increase your water intake so you can drink and eat your water! Cucumber, watermelon and grapefruit are the front runners.