"Drink more water!"
We have all heard this statement countless times, but how much water are you really supposed to drink? Why should we drink water, and how can you make drinking enough water easier, especially in the colder weather?
Now, I know water isn't everyone first choice, but it should be. Water makes up nearly 60% of your body composition, and we need it for growth and regeneration of every cell in our body. Basically without proper hydration your body won't work properly. Proper hydration can help with:
- Cardiovascular health - when you are dehydrated it lowers your blood volume, making your heart work harder to push the blood around the body.
- Maintaining mental focus - when you are dehydrated it's easy to lose focus on a task, so keep the water bottle handy while working.
- Improves muscle and joint function - When you are dehydrated and then exercise on top there is an increased risk of damage and pain with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Water also helps to flush though the lactic acid which, so it's important to keep up the water when exercising.
- Maintaining healthy weight - We often mistake hunger for dehydration. If you are feeling hungry only 20 minutes after a meal try having a large glass of water. It might just be you are just thirsty.
- Cleansing toxins - All our elimination channels need fluid to remove toxins. Through urine with the kidneys, faeces through the bowel, sweat through the skin and even when we breathe, the lungs are eliminating. Hydration is needed to make all these bodily functions work effectively.
- Prevents constipation - one of the biggest contributors to constipation is dehydration, along with a lack of fibre. Start the day with a large glass of warm water and lemon - your bowels will thank you for it!
- Reduces the incident of Urinary Tract Infections - When there is insufficient water passing though the bladder Ecoli, other pathogens have an opportunity to thrive. If you are prone to these types of infections keep up the fluids.
- Improves skin quality - if you have ever spent a long time on an airplane then you'll know how important it is to swap the champagne for the water! This also goes for spending time under the heating in winter.
So how much water should you drink? This will vary on your body size, levels of activity, the weather and the types of foods you eat. As a general rule you should aim for 30ml/kg of body weight. So a 65kg person needs about 1.9L per day. If you do live in a hot climate and exercise a lot or work in a physical job you can increase the volume.
I know water can be pretty boring and hard to take sometimes, but there are things you can do to make it much more delicious and interesting! One of my favourites is adding some fruit to your bottle of water. It will add a little flavour without the sugar or the artificial ingredients in commercial 'flavoured' waters.
Try some of these tasty mixes:
- Orange, lemon and ginger (this also improves the immune system and blood circulation)
- Lemon, cucumber and mint (great for fluid retention)
- Cucumber, raspberry and grapes (anti-inflammatory support)
- Apple, mint and cinnamon (blood sugar balance)
- Strawberry and lime (antioxidant boost)
- Pineapple and mint (anti-inflammatory and digestive support)
- Coriander and watermelon cubes (for detoxification and digestion support)
Foods can also add to your daily water count. These include:
Cucumber, green leafy lettuces, celery, radishes, tomato, watermelon, rockmelon, capsicums, citrus and coconut water (which is also fabulous for the electrolyte content!).
Teas are also a great addition, just try to keep away from the caffeine as this can have a diuretic effect.
Do you have enough water every day?