With water making up around 60% of our bodies, it’s vital that we maintain adequate levels of hydration. Our bodies depend on water to survive, with every cell, tissue, and organ needing water to work properly. With summer approaching, increased temperatures, outdoor activities, BBQs, festivals and long days in the sun, your chance of becoming dehydrated increases, as your body sweats and works to stay cool.
For most of us, staying hydrated can be difficult. The average Australian only drinks 1.29 litres of water per day which is well below the 2.5L (for males) and 2L (for females) that is recommended by most leading health organisations. And while the amount of water you need to drink will depend on a number of factors, including your age, gender, activity level and more, here are some of our top tips on how to keep yourself hydrated:
Keep a bottle of water with you during the day:
While it might seem obvious, always carrying a water bottle with you will encourage you to keep sipping on water throughout the day. Keep a bottle on your desk at work, in your car or in your gym bag and you’ll have one with you wherever you go.
Invest in a re-usable bottle:
In addition to our first tip, throw away any plastic bottles you might have and buy a re-usable water bottle that you like. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also be less likely to leave it behind and lose it.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try infusing your water with fresh fruit. Limes, lemons, oranges, berries, or cucumbers are all good options to add some extra flavour and can make for a refreshing beverage without any added artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
When you’re feeling hungry, drink water:
Just about everyone knows that late afternoon ‘I need a snack’ hunger feeling. Sometimes our brains confuse thirst with hunger, so next time the feeling strikes, hydrate before eating and your hunger pains just might disappear.
Eat your water:
20-30% of our daily water intake should actually come from food. All fruits and vegetables contain some amounts of water, with cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, capsicums, watermelon and strawberries all being made up of more than 90% water. Just another reason to eat your fruit and veggies!
Set yourself a schedule:
If you’re someone that struggles to remember to drink water, drink on a schedule. Have a glass of water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed. You can even set alarms on your phone throughout the day for a friendly reminder.
Give coconut water a go:
Coconut water is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. It can replenish lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot summer temperatures, and is a good alternative to sugary sports drinks.
Drink water before, during and after a workout:
During exercise, the main way the body maintains optimal body temperature is by sweating. Sweat production results in body fluid loss, making fluid intake extra important before, during and after a workout to replace what has been lost.