You may feel like you are made up of pure muscle, bones and that other not-so-popular body element (fat!), but in fact, the average adult human body consists of up to 65% water. Water is essential to a healthy body. It helps to regulate your body temperature and lubricate your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy. Health experts commonly recommend eight 8 glasses, which equals about 2 litres a day. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t perform at its optimum level. Cue fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.
Attempting to drink more water on a daily basis may feel tedious and repetitive at best and downright agonizing at worst. However, with a few easy methods, the adoption of some enjoyable rules for yourself, it does not have to be that challenging.
Here are our top tips for increasing your daily water consumption:
Add some flavour
Add some excitement and flavour to your water by steeping fresh fruit (grapefruit, berries, lemon), vegetable pieces (cucumber, ginger, celery), and herbs (basil, mint, lavender) in your water. Keeping a big bottle or jug in the fridge that’s easy to grab and top up your glass from, can help too.
The longer you steep it, the more flavorful each glass will be. Additionally, you may want to experiment with other combinations, such as cucumber and mint or basil and lemon.
When drinking alcohol, stick to the one-for-one rule.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the drinking rule: one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed. This is an excellent strategy for staying hydrated while drinking (and keeping that buzz from getting out of hand). This rule may help make that hangover a little less brutal the next day, but it’s also a winning strategy for anyone who relies on small rules and triggers to remind them to continue doing something they intend to do but occasionally forget (or find a way to avoid).
Sugary beverages should be diluted with water and ice.
If you’re drinking anything really sweet, such as juice, lemonade, cool drinks or iced tea, dilute your beverage with plenty of ice or even water (sparkling water or soda work well for fizzy drinks). You’ll still get the sweetness you want while also getting some additional water, and consuming less sugar at the same time. If you’re not looking forward to drinking anything less sweet, that’s understandable, and this suggestion may not be for you, but if you adopt this method frequently, you’ll be surprised to find how quickly your taste buds can adapt.
Watch out though! There is the possibility of over-drinking water. This is bad because it can lead to hyponatremia; the washing out of all the salts and electrolytes your body needs to function properly. So don’t over-hydrate by drinking fluid at a rate that is more than you sweat, or replacing fluids with only water.
Some signs to look out for before you reach peak dehydration are:
1. Your pee: if it is totally yellow, drink more water, if it is barely yellow then you are drinking enough. Anything lighter, you might be over-hydrating.
2. An inkling of thirst: sip water even when you’re not completely parched, because being slightly thirsty means something, and drinking little bits consistently over time is better than gulping your daily ration down in one go.
3. Tired muscles: lean muscle tissue contains more than 75% water, so when the body is short on H2O, muscles are more easily fatigued.
4. Skin turgor: if you pinch yourself and your skin remains in that pinched position then you are not sufficiently hydrated.
5. Dry mouth: if your mouth is dry, your body is asking for some water.
6. Feeling light-headed: if you don’t have enough water in your body, your heart has to work harder, so your blood pressure drops, which can cause dizziness.
And that’s a wrap; your sweat sesh, dehydration free, brought to you by the one and only – water.