Personally I love drinking water. I drink it first thing in the morning and then sip on it throughout the day. However, I know plenty of people, my husband and children included, who find it boring to drink and would much rather grab something flavoured.
I am forever ‘advising’ them to drink more water, especially as they take part in so much sport. But, instead of just saying it’s good for them, I decided to do a little research of my own so I can bamboozle them with the facts.
Why Should We Drink Water?
Water is essential for not only our own life but for life on earth. Our bodies are made up of around 60% water. Water helps to prevent dehydration when we lose fluids through sweat. It also helps to control our body temperature as well as ridding the body of waste products and toxins.
Have you ever got to the afternoon and felt loss of focus and concentration? It isn’t always down to food/tiredness. By consuming enough water your brain will be alert and you in turn will feel more energetic.
Water can also help with weight loss. Not only does it have a grand total of zero calories, it also goes some way to making you feel fuller. Try to drink a glass before a meal and see if you eat less. Or, next time you think you are hungry between meals, drink some water – are you still hungry or were you just dehydrated?
As water can assist with flushing out toxins and waste products it makes sense that it is beneficial for your skin. Try increasing your water intake and see if you have a more radiant glow within the next 1 to 2 weeks.
I would say It’s got quite a lot going for it.
How Much Water Should We Drink?
According to the NHS website, we should be drinking between 6 and 8 glasses of fluid a day. That’s about 2 to 3 litres. Notice I said fluid rather than water? You don’t just have to be drinking plain water to make up this amount, it can include other liquids, more on this below.
However, despite this recommendation – and it is widely accepted that we should be drinking around that amount – there is no exact science behind that measurement. How much liquid you consume on any given day should very much depend on who you are, where you are and what you are doing.
It of course makes sense that on hotter days you should keep drinking to replace any fluids lost through sweat. The same goes for taking part in sporting activity. But best of all, try to listen to your body and get to know when it is telling you to drink more. Don’t wait until you are irritable with a headache to reach for the H2O.
How Do You Know If You Are Getting Enough Water?
Because each person and situation is so different, it is worth being aware of signs of when our water intake is not adequate for our needs. One way to check is to look at the colour of your urine. The darker it is, the more fluid you need. If it is pale or clear you should consider yourself hydrated. Other obvious signs are a dry mouth, headache and lack of concentration. Of course it’s not good to get to this stage, so try and have a drink of something at regular intervals throughout the day.
What Can You Drink Instead Of Water?
Drinking water is an easy way to stay hydrated, but I do appreciate that some people would rather some flavour. Thankfully there are other options to make your guzzling more interesting;
Flavoured Water – A great alternative to plain water. Adding a bit of flavour to water makes it more enticing, and if it means you will drink more then go for it. Just squeeze some lemon or lime juice into a glass of water.
NOTE: Don’t go for the shop bought flavoured water – make your own infused waters at home. If you do buy premade flavoured water double check the label, you may be unpleasantly surprised by the sugar levels.
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Tea and Coffee – According to the British Nutrition Foundation both tea and coffee can count towards your daily fluid intake. Drink caffeinated drinks within moderation and of course you need to moderate how much you drink if you are adding sweeteners or sugar to your hot drinks.
Juices and Smoothies – As long as you are aware of what is in your drink, smoothies and juices can be consumed as part of your fluid intake. Remember the sugar content, even if it is natural, especially for your teeth. I always make our own so I know exactly what we’re drinking and I usually dilute a smoothie with some water.
Food – I love that I can get some of my water needs via food! Some fruits and vegetables are made up from large percentages of water. Top ones include watermelon (I guess the clue is in the name!) strawberries, grapefruit, peaches, cucumber, broccoli, carrots and many more.
Milk – The white stuff is made up of 85 to 95% water. Go for semi-skimmed if you can to lower the fat intake. You will also reap the benefits of the calcium, protein and B vitamins.
Top Tips For Drinking More Water
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Remember you haven’t drunk for quite a few hours whilst you slept!
- Have a bottle of water with you throughout the day to remind yourself to drink.
- Squeeze some lemon or lime juice into your water to jazz it up. Better still, freeze the juice in ice cube trays and then just pop them into your glass of water when you are ready to drink it.
- Experiment with infused waters, both hot and cold.
- Treat yourself to some yummy herbal teas.
- Dilute juices and smoothies with carbonated water for a fizzy treat.