The best ways to stay hydrated all year round
It is really important to stay well hydrated throughout the day as a part of your self care and healthy living regime. When you become dehydrated through lack of liquid intake you can suffer a range of symptoms ranging from brain fog, tiredness, sleepiness, a sense of overwhelm, lack of energy, tight and sensitive skin, joint pain, digestive problems, headaches and nausea to name but a few. To avoid experiencing these dehydration symptoms it is best to plan your water intake for the day and keep your fluid levels stable all day long.
How often should I drink during the day?
The best and most practical solution is to drink at regular intervals and carry a water bottle around with you all day to remind you to drink. You can also set an hourly reminder on your phone or pc or download a water reminder app on your phone. Why not take advantage of your reminder to drink more water and get up and move around at the same time. That will be a double healthy bonus!
When looking to buy a water bottle preferably choose a refillable bottle which is easy to wash and is dishwasher safe. There are many brands available on the market. Remember to find a water bottle which is easy to fill, easy to clean and durable. Bottles with a wide neck are really practical so you can add infused fruits and vegetables to add flavour to the water and they are much easier to clean too. Some people prefer metal water bottles whilst other people like BPA free plastic bottles or glass bottles. The choice is yours.
How much water should I aim to drink per day?
Current guidelines recommend between 2 and 3 litres per day for women and between 3 and 4 litres for men per day. This will obviously depend on your height, build and vary according to any medication you may be taking or medical conditions you have. It is best to gradually increase your water intake to reach the recommended amount over a period of days rather than suddenly drinking lots of water in one go when you are not used to drinking very much. As a rule of thumb for healthy adults working on your body weight it works as follows. For every two pounds of your body weight, you need an ounce of water. In metric measurements that works out to approximately, for every 1kg of body weight, you need 0.033 litre of water. So, if you weigh 60kg (9.4 stone), you should drink about 2 litres of water every day. And if you weigh 90kg (14.18 stone), you’ll need about 3 litres of water.
What are the best drinks to help you stay hydrated?
Filtered water is definitely the best option for both humans and your family pets. Tap water contains many impurities so it is not recommended on a daily basis as it can lead to kidney stones and liver damage. Bottled mineral water varies greatly in quality, purity and Ph levels. It is best to avoid buying bottled water in plastic bottles as the plastic bottles used often contain BPA or other harmful chemicals. Also, plastic is more difficult to recycle. We have all seen images of the beaches and oceans around the world covered in plastic bottle waste. Glass mineral water bottles are definitely a better option as long as they are recycled properly.
What can I drink instead if I don’t like plain water?
Other options if you’re not a great fan of plain filtered water are fruit and vegetable infused water or cold herbal teas. Cucumber and lime, strawberry and blueberry, orange and lemon, raspberry and blueberry are all great combinations to infuse in your water bottle and leave for a couple of hours before drinking. Cold herbal teas with a slice of lemon or lime are also a good choice. You can also add fresh herbs like mint or rosemary. Diluted fruit juice is also a good choice to drink now and then, but be careful as the sugar level in diluted fruit juice will still be higher than infused water so it will be much more calorific.
Why are fizzy drinks, sodas and fruit squashes not a good choice to drink?
It is best to avoid drinking any fizzy drinks or sodas as they usually contain a lot of additives, sugar and artificial sweeteners. Fruit squashes or cordials also contain high levels of sugar and additives so are not considered a healthy choice. Especially not for children!
Does coffee dehydrate you?
Real coffee made from ground coffee beans is fine to drink in the morning in moderation. Up to 3 cups per day of filter coffee/americano or the equivalent of three espresso shots worth of ground coffee. Drinking coffee in the afternoon is not recommended as it can affect your sleep pattern during the night and make you feel jittery. Buy a good quality brand of coffee beans and experiment. Some brands contain more caffeine than others and will have more adverse effects on your body. Avoid instant coffee or decaffeinated coffee which are both highly processed and are more likely to make you feel agitated.
An alternative to coffee or tea in the afternoon is green tea which you can drink in its pure form, as Matcha which is a blend of several green teas, or green tea infused with jazmine, ginger, mint, echinacea, lemon or lime. Green tea is high in antioxidants and can aid weight loss as it boosts your metabolism and helps to burn fat.
What foods can I eat to increase my hydration levels?
Eating a range of fresh fruits and vegetables every day will help increase your overall fluid intake. They are packed with electrolytes like calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium which are key components to help you stay hydrated. Recommended fruits with a high liquid content are melon, watermelon, oranges, blueberries and raspberries. Salad vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, radishes, celery, lettuce, rocket and spinach also have up to 90% water content.
Stews and soups also have a high liquid content so they also count towards your daily liquid intake. Cold soups like gazpacho in summer and clear soups like chicken broth are also great choices.
Can sea salt and Himalayan salt help you to stay hydrated?
Both sea salt and Himalayan salt help to balance water and potassium levels in your body due to their sodium content as well as alkalising your body. Research shows that sodium and potassium help to enhance your hydration levels.