Yes yes, we all know you’re supposed to drink two litres of water a day to be the best version of yourself. But, if you’re anything like us, it can be hard to achieve when you’re busy doing life and don’t want to spend your day going back and forth to the sink (or the bathroom, let’s be honest!).
But, it really is worth making the time to keep your hydration in check. Our in-house nutritionist, Philippa, is here to tell you why.
Read on for our 5 top tips for keeping your hydration levels topped up.
Why is hydration so important?
In a nutshell, water is the main component of blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell and takes away our waste. Water helps:
- Brain function (goodbye brain fog and rogue headaches)
- Energy production
- Glowing skin (yes please)
- Proper digestion
- Muscle contraction and athletic performance
Did you know that, unlike change in temperature, your body can’t adapt to dehydration? We’ve never thought about it like that either. But it definitely gave us pause.
Now we know the why, here’s Philippa’s tips for the how…
Our 5 top tips for staying hydrated
- Mix it up – try to break up how you’re getting your water intake. Try drinking four lots of 500ml throughout the day or investing in a litre bottle or a reusable straw. Figure out what works for you and keep your water nearby so you remember to drink regularly.
- Up the flavour – add some natural ingredients like mint, cucumber or lemon to your bottle and introduce variety with a fruit or herbal tea. FYI, vegetable smoothies, soups and health drinks all count.
- A little more – when you’re just about to put your glass back down. Don’t. Take a couple of extra gulps. It’s a small thing but once you’re in the habit, it’ll help you boost your intake. It’s more effective than remembering you haven’t drunk all day and downing a couple of litres of water at bedtime.
- Feeling hungry? You might actually be thirsty. Next time you’re about to reach for a biscuit, try to drink some water instead. Many studies have shown that feeling thirsty might be misinterpreted as hunger. If you’re still hungry? Biscuits are permitted.
- Keep it up – new habits take about a month to establish. Stick with it and, after a while, you’ll be used to feeling hydrated and you’ll notice when you’re not – and you won’t like it!
How to tell if you’re hydrated
So, you’re following the tips and tricks but how do you know when you’re good to go? If you leave it to thirst alone, you won’t get there. As humans, we’re poor at judging our level of hydration, which is why it’s important to keep water nearby all the time to jog your memory. The simplest way to tell if you’re hydrated really is to check the colour of your pee. It should be a very pale yellow. If it’s darker than that, drink up.
One final top tip? The only time you shouldn’t be drinking is while you’re eating and for an hour afterwards. You need your food and digestive enzymes to be in contact for the longest possible time to allow efficient digestion. Drinking while eating will flush your food through your intestines too quickly, depriving you of nutrients and may, in the long term, irritate your delicate gut lining.
To your hydration stations everyone!
Philippa Parish is a registered nutritional therapist and life coach at Living Wellness.