Hydration - water is best!
Confession – I am a recent convert to drinking water. I used to have a bottle or a couple of glasses a day. It was not until I started running that I truly understood the importance of hydration and I feel much better for it.
It is recommended that we drink six to eight glasses of water (1.2 litres) a day to stay hydrated (you will need to drink more if you exercise regularly). Water is a cheap and convenient way to quench thirst. I think most of us are aware of the benefits of keeping hydrated but here is a quick reminder:
Water keeps you energetic – it helps the blood to transport oxygen and other nutrients to your cells.
Your brain is 85% water and if you feel dehydrated it can lead to stress. If you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated so much sure you sip water throughout the day to help lower stress levels.
Water helps to prevent muscle cramping and fatigue by lubricating joints in the body. If you are well hydrated you can exercise for longer.
Water can help to make you look younger as lines and wrinkles can look deeper when you are dehydrated. It also flushes out toxins and impurities which can help to make your skin look clearer.
Water keeps you regular! Water helps to aid waste material pass through your digestive system and makes bowel movements easier.
Drinking water prevents kidney stones as it dilutes the salt and minerals that can form the solid crystals that are known as kidney stones.
Research done on healthy men and women showed that water can boost metabolism by up to 30% (The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88:12)
Tips for drinking more water:
Buy a nice refillable water bottle that you would drink from not only is this good for the environment; it could encourage you to drink more. I have invested in a very large water bottle. Okay, it was because I went on a training course everyone had one and it looked cool so I wanted one– but it is handy! It is great way of seeing how much fluid I need. It is 2.2 litres so more than the recommended amount but I sweat a lot so it is perfect. I just fill it up once and I know that is how much water I need for the day.
Have a glass of water first thing in the morning. It helps to rehydrate the body and therefore helps with energy levels and aid metabolism.
If you do not like the taste of water – try using a water diffuser and add some fruit/herbs to it or add slices of lemon to your glass of water.
Use an app to track your drinking. There are lots of apps that help you to keep track of how many glasses you have had or alert you when it’s time to hydrate.
Iced teas and herbal teas are a great way of getting in your daily intake of water but watch out for sugar!