As far as awareness weeks go National Hydration week (16th – 22nd March 2015) is not that exciting, but it is a very important reminder. A typical adult is about two thirds water, we are, largely, what we drink.
Even very slight dehydration can significantly impair your performance and well being. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, thirst, dry mouth and in extreme cases fainting, unconsciousness and death.
Current guidelines suggest that an adult should consume 2 litres of water a day, which can seem rather daunting, but remember that some of the liquid in food as well as tea, coffee and juice all count towards your target 2 litres, so it is somewhat easier than you might think.
At the first sign of hunger, tiredness or a dip in my concentration levels I refill my glass rather than reach for a snack or make a mug of coffee. The majority of the time I immediately feel more alert and focused. Coupled with more energy, glowing skin and a feeling of general well being what is not to love about staying hydrated?
- Start the day with a mug of hot water with a slice or two of lemon (and ginger). It is refreshing, helps you wake up and gives an energy boost; which means once you have established the habit it makes you less reliant on caffeine. I keep a tub of lemon and ginger slices in the freezer – simply drop them into a mug, top up with freshly boiled water and you are good to go. You are a sixth of the way towards your two litres before you have even properly started the day. I use a BRITA filter kettle for crystal clear water with none of that nasty limescale scum floating on it.
- It can take up to 66 days to form a habit, so this week is a good time to start. Remind yourself to drink more. The first item on my to do list tells me to drink water, and I can check each of my 5 glasses off. Use an app – Toodleoo has a new habits section – or set an alarm on your phone. Put a glass onto your desk last thing in the evening to remind you to drink your water.
- Fill up your BRITA filter jug in the morning and put somewhere that you will see it, and drink some every time you go past.
- An old, but effective trick is to wrap hair, or rubber bands, round your refillable bottle and slide from the top to the bottom every time you refill it so you can keep track of the water you drink.
- Grab a water bottle when you are out and about – BRITA have a handy range of filter water bottles. I hate buying plastic bottles of water as it always makes me feel guilty. If I forget my bottle I have a terrible habit of letting myself become very thirsty when I am out before I give in and buy a bottle. I am going to try not to leave the flat, apart from 5 minute errands, without a bottle of water. My current metal water bottle has been around the world with me and is bashed and dented, although still robust, and I never worry about leaks. If you are flying take an empty bottle and ask one of the coffee shops to fill it after you have been through security, to date no one has ever refused.
- Don’t worry about always needing the loo! If you suddenly start to drink more water you will need to run to the bathroom more often, but after a few days the body seems to get used to it and you will need to go less often.
- If you exercise then make sure you take on extra fluids. You might be delighted to be a pound or two lighter on the scales after a gym session but that immediate loss will be fluid, not fat. Drink more water.
What are your top tips for staying hydrated?
I am a BRITA ambassador and have been compensated my time spent on this campaign, all opinions are my own.
The fabulous insulated double walled glass mugs and tumblers are from Judge Cookware. £13.50 / £12.50. I received them as a sample.