As humans we are made up of about 70% water. We need water for survival and without it we’d be in serious trouble. Without proper hydration we simply would not have enough energy to get through the day and our body wouldn’t be able to function properly.
We all need water to produce saliva and to help digest the food that we eat. We also need it for internal body regulation, flushing out and detoxifying the body and for proper brain and liver function. A basic guideline is to aim to drink 1 litre per 50lbs of bodyweight and that’s before exercise. Keeping the body hydrated also helps the heart to pump blood through the blood vessels and to the muscles more easily. Plus, it helps the muscles work efficiently. So the next time you go to the gym don’t forget your water bottle!
Remember if we don’t drink enough water we could become dehydrated, which can have a significant consequence and could hinder your health – like loss of energy or coordination. You know the saying if you feel hungry you’re more likely to be thirsty!
Throughout the Summer months it’s easier to remember to drink more water, if the sun is shining we tend to up our fluid intake and many of us tend to do more exercise during the Summer. But, it’s absolutely vital to remember to rehydrate during the Winter months too.
During Winter we tend to turn central heating up to the max and move less too. So, just because we aren’t feeling sweaty, doesn’t mean we don’t need to reach for some water. With the increased threats of colds and the flu during the Winter months, it’s important to boost our immune systems. Dehydration can make us more susceptible to getting sick as our immune system will weaken and our cells, tissues, and organs don’t function at their optimum capacity without enough water.
It’s easy to forget to drink water and go into hibernation mode in the dark winter= months. We instinctively eat more and become more sedentary during Winter. As our activity levels are lower overall during this period of time, we tend to put on more weight. Drinking enough water will help you boost your metabolic rate and curb your carbohydrate cravings.
1 – Start your day with a glass of lemon water
Before you reach for that early morning coffee, drink a warm glass of lemon water. This will give your metabolism a boost, as well as setting you up for drinking water throughout day.
2 – Set an alarm
This will be handy to remind you when to drink water! As most of us are too busy to think about drinking water, we need a constant reminder- so go on set your alarm to remind you to drink! This will help you to form a habit of drinking regularly. It will become second nature, it’s a bit like weight training, it needs to be progressive and consistent.
3 – Get Fruity!
Fruit like watermelons and pineapples have a high water content, so be sure to add these delicious snacks into your daily diet. Also cucumbers too. Add them into a daily smoothie.
4 – Juice it!
If you haven’t got the time to be chumping on a whole watermelon or cucumber – then juice them! Choose to consume vegetables that are also high in water content. Cucumber, celery, carrots, and spinach are all great examples and are in season in the winter months. Try making this alkalising hydrating juice…
• Lime and mint – YUM! Your kids will love this!
5 – Get a Water Filter
Be prepared and get a water filter jug, fill it up and place it in your fridge. Then this way you’re reminded to drink water when you fancy a snack! Spruce up your water jug with some fresh mint or cucumber, if you find drinking water a bit boring.
6 – Have a Cuppa
Don’t forget warm drinks count as part of your daily water intake. Try making a soothing peppermint and liquorice tea, or even a warming lemon and ginger tea and add some manuka honey to give your immune system a boost due to its anti-bacterial properties.
Try making this simple immune boosting milk drink:
Warm a cup of almond milk up in a pan then add a teaspoon of turmeric, stir until dissolved. Let it cool and drink it slowly. This tea will give your immune system a boost as it’s anti-inflammatory properties do the trick and keep your colds at bay.
7 – Salt
It’s everywhere! If you do enjoy eating salty foods, then balance out your hydration levels or even add Himalayan salt to your water at the gym. This will help keep you hydrated, as it’s packed full of 84 trace minerals that our body needs and craves on a daily basis.
Thanks to Jamie Lloyd for this feature. Jamie is a Health and Fitness Coach based in London.