Water is not something you want to skimp on in your diet. Water makes up a whopping 60% of the body and has a multitude of functions, such as dissolving and transporting substances around the body, lubricating tissues like eyes and joints, regulating body temperature, providing minerals, flushing out toxins, and building cells, to name a few.
This seems like reason enough for us to keep hydrated, but keep reading to learn more about water intake and its benefits.
- It energises your muscles. Without it, the balance of fluids and electrolytes in your muscles shrivel, leading to muscle fatigue. This is why drinking fluids before, during and after physical activity is a must.
- Not only does a hydrated body contribute to your concentration and alertness, it can improve your mood! Mild dehydration is proven to impact your moods negatively.
- Water is essential for correctly functioning kidneys and to flush out toxins. Improperly functioning kidneys can cause a build up of waste, bacteria and excess fluid in the body. This can later on lead to urinary tract infections, kidney disease and even kidney failure.
- It will give your skin that glow. Without hydration, your blood becomes thick and turns to your skin cells for hydration. This causes the skin to appear dry and the eyes to look dark and sunken. Consistent dehydration can lead your skin to age faster and impact its elasticity. Hydration can improve the texture and colour of your skin by creating new cells regularly.
- It can ward off headaches and migraines. A headache onset by dehydration can be detected if movement seems to aggravate or cause pain to the head.
Water is the number one necessity in our diets - without it, we simply cannot survive!
So how much water should you be drinking each day?
Ideally you should be drinking between 2-4 litres a day. Powerlifting athlete & coach Nathan Wallace recommends two approaches to calculating how much water you should be drinking per day:
- For every 25kg of total body weight you should consume 1L of fluid or
- 42ml for every 1kg of total body weight
The thing is, many people aren't aware that they’re not drinking enough water until they feel the effects - headaches, hunger pains, inability to focus, and fatigue. Luckily, there are a number of options to help you meet your daily water quota - here are 10 easy ways to help you drink more water each day.
Water can be a bit… bland. So, if you aren't a fan of the taste, or simply want to make your water a bit more interesting, combine it with fruit and vegetables like berries, lemon, lime and cucumber for a refreshing flavour. Simple yet effective!
You know we’re big believers in setting goals - intentions are powerful! Understand how much water you should be drinking each day and determine your goal. Then remind yourself of your goal continuously. Putting yourself in the mindset and the position to complete a task is a game-changer - by setting a daily water intake goal, you’re not only putting the intention of drinking more water in your head, you’re reminding yourself and motivating yourself along the way.
One of the easiest ways to keep tabs on your water intake is to track it using an app or food diary. There are so many apps available these days that can help spur you on, as well as notepads or diaries. For us, we love to use THE BOD Workout Bestie as it allows us to track our water intake, as well as set and reflect on our goals each day.
Yep, you heard us. That includes your coffees, teas, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages. None of those drinks are as beneficial to your body as water itself. By replacing other drinks with water, you’re not only drinking more water and getting yourself healthier, you might also be helping yourself cut the sugar and lose weight too!
If you simply can’t give up your cups of coffee, following them up with a glass of water can easily improve your hydration status.
Sometimes when we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before you chow down on food can help you figure out whether you were actually hungry, or just craving some good old H2O. And, if you eat 3 meals a day and have snacks in-between, that’s 4-5 added cups of water to your daily water intake - winning!
Adding spice to your meals is a sure way to bump up your water intake! Add some chillies or hot sauce to your lunch or dinner and you’re sure to chug some water while eating, amplifying your hydration.
Try to make it a habit that as soon as you wake, the first thing you do is drink a glass of water. Do the same thing before bed, too. A glass of water in the morning helps wake you up and gets you alert, while drinking water before bed helps your organs with the internal processes they perform while you sleep.
There are a number of refillable water bottles on the market, even those with markings which inform you how much you’ve drunk and how much you’ve got left. Think ahead and estimate how much water you should be drinking everyday. Then, fill a large bottle with that amount and make it a goal to finish the bottle before the end of the day. For example, if your daily water intake goal was 2L, you could buy a 1L tumbler and make sure to empty the tumbler twice. You can make it a bit of a challenge - ‘I have to finish this 1 before midday, and another 1L by 5pm’.
This is a sneaky but effective way to up your water without your tastebuds noticing! Popping just four ice cubes into your glass adds roughly a half of a cup of water to your drink!
Some fruits and vegetables are extremely high in water. Lettuce, for example, is a whopping 96% water! Cucumber, celery, watermelon, cabbage and zucchini are also over 90% water. As well as a hydration hit, they’re giving you a boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too! Another bonus? Water-rich fruits and veggies will help you stay fuller for longer, keeping you from mindless snacking throughout the day.
Staying hydrated can sometimes be a challenge - busy schedules, temptation of other things we’d rather be drinking, and the fear of spending half the day in the bathroom. But drinking more water is one of the best things you can do for your body and your mind. Smash your water goal each day and you’ll reap the benefits! Hopefully, using the tips mentioned above, you’ll find it easier to stay hydrated and happy!
How do you get more water into your day? Let us know in the comments!