Keeping hydrated is one of the simplest and most beneficial things you can do for your body: Drinking enough water helps to improve energy levels and brain function, keeps your skin in good condition, keeps your bowels moving, improves physical performance, and prevents headaches, constipation and urinary tract infections (cystitis).
Drinking enough fluid can also help to keep hunger at bay and prevent excessive eating; this is because the body can often confuse hunger and thirst signals. So the next time that you feel hungry try having a glass of water first to check that you don’t just need to drink more and try having a glass of water before your next meal as it may just help to fill you up!
It is generally recommended to drink at least eight 200ml glasses or 1.6 litre of fluid a day. These amounts are however only estimates and you will need to drink more if you are exercising or if it’s hot i.e. if you are sweating more.
An easy way to tell if you’re drinking enough is to see if you’re thirsty or not! Thirst though is unfortunately a sign that you are already dehydrated, which means you need to up your daily fluid intake. Another way to check your hydration level is by checking the colour of your urine; the darker it is the more dehydrated you are, and so you need to drink more to flush out your body’s waste products that are naturally produced. You should aim for a pale straw colour. Other signs of dehydration include headaches, a lack of energy and feeling lightheaded.
Now, I have to admit that I am not a big fan of water (on its own). If it’s hot outside or if I’m out shopping (!) then I can be forced to drink bottled water but other than that it just doesn’t seem to agree with me! I just have no passion for drinking plain water and that’s why I like to stay hydrated in more interesting ways.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to make water more interesting which will ultimately help you to drink more and stay hydrated!
1) INFUSE your Water with Fruit: I found this fab Infruition water bottle pictured above in Joy, which allows you to ‘infuse’ your water with natural fruit flavours. Keeping a bottle of water with you at all times (fruit infused or not!) is an easy way to keep your fluid levels topped up during the day. Aim to re-fill your bottle at least 2-3 times over the day; morning, afternoon and evening!
My favourite fruit based infusion combinations that I’ve tried so far are:
- Strawberry, basil & cucumber – it’s so refreshing!
- Fresh Raspberries – simple yet effective
- Blueberries (lightly crushed before adding) – add fresh mint leaves for a twist!
- Lemon, Mint & Cucumber – as shown in my “detox water”, it’s delicious!
2) Make ICE-CUBES with Fruit: You can make water more interesting by adding fruit-based ice-cubes; either add pieces of lemon to your ice-cube tray and fill with water or simply chop the lemon into pieces and freeze them in a food bag before adding directly to water when needed. And for the weekend you can always add a frozen grape or two to wine to keep it cool too!
If you don’t have a freezer, keeping a jug of water in the fridge can also help you to drink more as chilled water if often more palatable. And don’t forget that fruits high in water such as watermelon also count towards your fluid intake!
These drinks are like a cross between a smoothie and a juice – they contain fewer calories than a smoothie but more fibre than a juice! For more information about juicing and blending pros and cons check out [this blog post].
4) Add some BUBBLES: Try sparkling water for a change. I personally love sparkling water with lemon & lime slices and always order it when eating out instead of coke or lemonade or as a side with wine!
I’ve also just got my hands on a Soda Stream (I never had one as a kid!) so look out for my review soon!
5) Go HOT: It’s a myth that moderate amounts of tea and coffee dehydrate you. Whilst it’s true that caffeine has a slight diuretic effect, overall there is always a net fluid gain thanks to the water that you have with it.
I like to encourage people to have a mixture of different types of teas and coffees i.e. alternating decaffeinated with caffeinated and trying different herbal teas (I do love my honey and lemon green teas and of course chai tea!). All teas are a fantastic source of antioxidants and are low in calories too, so what are you waiting for, put the kettle on!
I really hope that this blog post helps you to drink more water during the day – and I would love to know if you have any more tips!
*This blog post contains an affiliate link. The Infruition bottle was gifted to me to use and review. I only every blog about products that I truly love. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.