We all know that water is essential for life and that we cannot survive without it. Water makes up over half our body composition, and for adults we are on average between 50% to 65% water.
Why we need to drink water:
- To regulate body temperature. In warm weather and when you exercise, you sweat to maintain your body’s internal temperature. However, if you are not hydrated, under these conditions your body’s internal temperature can increase.
- To remove waste products from the body either by urination or defecation. If you don’t drink sufficient water you can increase your risk of kidney stones and being constipated.
- Functioning of the circulatory system. One of the main components in blood plasma is water and we need an efficient circulatory system to carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells in the body.
- Can help with weight loss. Often when many people when feel weak or tired they reach for sugary foods to get an instant boost in energy and mood. However, in reality they are not hungry but may just be dehydrated. So, the next time before having a sweet snack, check if you have had enough water.
How much water do you need?
The European Food Safety Authority recommends that daily water intake for men is 2.5 litres and for women is 2.0 litres.
The amount of water you need to drink will depend on many factors including your activity levels, age, your height and weight, gender, etc. It depends on the climate you live in, as those living in warmer climates need more than those in cooler climates. Also, your health condition determines how much you need, if you have had diarrhoea or been vomiting you will need more water. You need to consider the types of foods you are eating, as this effects how much water you need to drink, for instance, fresh fruits have more moisture than meat.
The symptoms of dehydration include feeling thirsty, tired, dizzy or light headed. Or having a dark yellow, strong smelling urine or urinating little, and fewer than four times a day (Source: NHS)
Over the years there has been a shift with how we have our water, since there are many beverages easily available which include sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, flavourings, etc. Instead of mainly having these, I encourage my clients to drink water.
And I understand that many people don’t drink sufficient water because they either forget to or don’t like the taste.
How to drink more water:
Start off strong: I recommend starting the day with one or two glasses of warm water and then drinking water through the day.
Set reminders: As with most things, we all need time to create healthy habits and to get started with drinking water you can set reminders on your phone through the day.
Track yourself: To track how much you are having you can make a note of it or use an app on your phone. There are many free apps that you can use, two that I suggest are plant nanny and drink water.
Bring on the flavour: And if you do not like the taste of plain water you can naturally flavour it with fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables so you never get bored. Fill a jug with water and use a combination of sliced lemon, lime, orange, cucumber, etc. You can also add in fresh herbs like mint and basil leaves.
Refill often: When you leave home, remember to fill your water bottle and carry it with you. I do this even when I travel, as it reminds me to drink water and is better for the environment as I won’t be buying plastic water bottles.
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