Staying hydrated is of paramount importance to health. We get about 20% of our total water intake from the food we eat. Fruits and vegetables are particularly good for hydration as they contain 80% of water.
Water is necessary for your body to function, it plays a vital role in digestion, blood circulation, and skin health, as well as helping your body absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. It can be easy not to drink enough, one in five people drinks less than their recommended daily intake but this can negatively impact health and daily activities. Here are some tips to help you keep fluid levels up throughout the day.
- Consume your Quota
Fluid requirements vary for each individual and are dependent on your age, gender, and activity level. As a rule of thumb, women should aim to drink around 2litres of water each day, and men 2.5litres. This should come mainly from water and foods but herbal teas, tisanes, and milk are other good choices and provide additional health benefits including an increase in energy level, ease digestion, eliminate toxins, and improve skin health.
2. Prioritize Water
The only drink that contains no sugar, calories, or additives in the water, it is the best choice to help you stay hydrated. Keep a large bottle or jug with you and sip from it throughout the day to keep you energized and your skin nourished, which in turn helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
3. Drink First in the Morning
Your body is mildly dehydrated after sleep, so make sure that you drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. This also helps your body flush out toxins before your first meal, keeps your skin supple and radiant, and boosts your energy for the day ahead, reducing the temptation to snack unnecessarily, which can help you cut down calories and aid weight loss.
4. Limit Tea and Coffee
Caffeinated drinks contain water, so can contribute to your daily fluid intake, but be aware that they have a mild diuretic effect. This means that they cause your body to produce urine, which can lead to dehydration. Tea and coffee also contain tannin, a chemical that blocks the pores of cells. When consumed in large amount can cause dry skin, stomach irritation and other health complications.
5. Drink Regularly
If you feel thirsty, it’s a sign that your body has been craving water for some time, drink little and often, and don’t wait to feel thirsty before drinking. If you urinate infrequently or in small amounts, or if your urine is dark yellow in colour, these are other indications that your body is lacking water. When you’re adequately hydrated, your urine should be a pale, straw-yellow colour.
6. Drink for Exercise
Drink plenty of liquids before and during exercise to stay hydrated and keep your skin glowing and boost your energy. Your body can lose up to 1litre of water per hour during exercise through sweating to regulate body temperature and breathing more heavily than usual. Don’t drink too much just after you’ve finished exercising, as this may cause your muscles to cramp.
7. Check your Hunger
The hormones that trigger hunger and thirst are the same, which means that you can mistake long-lasting thirst for hunger. Next time you feel a hunger pang, try drinking a glass of water instead of reaching for a snack.
8. Drink for Digestion
Drink a glass of water at least 30 minutes before eating a meal. This will help you avoid overeating and keep your digestive system healthy, maximizing the uptake of beneficial nutrients. However, make sure you don’t drink just before eating because the water can dilute your digestive juices, hindering the breakdown of food in your digestive tract.
9. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is a diuretic that causes your kidneys to produce large quantities of urine, depleting the body of vital and nourishing nutrients and causing havoc to the body. Drinking just one alcoholic drink can cause your body to lose a disproportionately large quantity of liquid, and the effects continue even after you’ve stopped drinking.
10. Hydrate Before Bedtime
Make sure you’re hydrated before going to sleep to keep skin nourished during the night, help the body get rid of unwanted toxins and reduce the appearance of fine lines, help relieve stomach cramps or pain, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Drink a glass of water shortly before going to bed. The nighttime is usually the longest period your body will go without a drink, so your hydration levels must be topped up beforehand.