Did you know water is the largest single component of your body, making up a total of between 55- and 60% of your total body weight, so you depend on water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs good hydration to work efficiently.
There are several benefits to your health and performance that stem from drinking enough water. These include:
• An improvement in physical performance
• Help you to lose weight
• Prevent headaches
• Boost your mood and brainpower
• Protect against disease
• Slows the ageing process
• Speeds up joint and cartilage repair
• Flushes out toxins
• Helps improve skin conditions
How much water should you drink a day?
The amount of water you need to drink will depend on several factors, including your age, gender, activity level and more. However, in general, women should drink just over two litres of water every day, while men should drink around three litres of water a day.
As you increase your activity level, you’ll also need to increase the amount of water you drink. If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, or you’re not properly hydrated, then what you could do is check the colour of your urine. If it’s usually colourless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If, however, it’s normally a dark yellow or amber colour, then you may be dehydrated and you should up your water intake.
What should I be drinking to stay hydrated?
Water is best for staying hydrated. Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated, however, some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet.
• Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas add to the amount of water you get each day.
• Caffeinated drinks (for example, coffee, tea, and certain fizzy drinks) can contribute to your daily water intake. A moderate amount of caffeine (200 to 300 milligrams) is not harmful for most people. However, it’s best to limit caffeinated drinks. Caffeine may cause some people to urinate more frequently, feel anxious or jittery.
• Sports drinks can be helpful if you are planning on exercising at higher levels than normal for more than an hour. They contain carbohydrates and electrolytes that can increase your energy.
Top tips to stay hydrated throughout the day
• Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.
• If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
• Drink water before, during and after a workout.
• When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger; true hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan.
• If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour. You could even set a timer on your phone as a reminder.
• Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated and it’s free.
Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.