Whether you love the summer sun or you hibernate through until cooler temperatures are here, we all know the importance of staying hydrated in the summer heat to keep our bodies healthy and functioning. We are composed of almost two-thirds water.
Let’s face it, it’s difficult to get in the daily recommended amount of water. Water isn’t all that tasty, especially when we have other beverages such as coffee, energy drinks, milk, fruit juices, and sports drinks that have so much more flavour. In fact, when you drink coffee/tea you should aim to drink an extra glass and a half of water due to caffeine's dehydrating effect. So here are a few tips on how to get that extra water in when your body desperately needs it.
First, let’s look at how much water your body needs on a daily basis and what factors cause this amount to vary depending on your lifestyle. When it comes to how much water you need, there are so many different opinions. Some say eight, 250ml glasses of water a day. Many experts go by a formula to calculate how much you need according to your weight, physical activity, and temperature of your environment. The quickest way to gauge how much water you need is also the easiest. The colour of your urine tells you anything you need to know about your water intake. Your urine should be a light straw colour. If your urine is dark yellow, your body needs more hydration. If your urine is clear, then you may be drinking a little too much water, and probably need to ease off so you do not cause an imbalance in your electrolyte levels. Yes, you read that right, there is such a thing as drinking too much water!
Here’s a few tips to make sure you’re getting the water intake your body needs.
When you wake up, before doing anything else, drink a glass of water. You’re at least slightly dehydrated in the mornings (more so depending on how you spent the evening before) so getting that water in first thing helps replenish and start your day on the right foot.
Have water-based foods throughout your day. Soups (broth, not cream based) as well as fresh fruits and vegetables are all great, easy ways to add extra water into your day without feeling like you’re tied to a water bottle.
Drink at least half a glass of water before every meal. This helps to keep your water intake consistent and fights off any signals of hunger that are actually a sign of thirst. This also cuts down on how much you’ll eat in one sitting, which, if we’re honest, can’t we all use a little help with portion control sometimes.
Drink a glass of water before bed. This helps you to rest better since you won’t be waking up in the middle of the night getting a drink, and it also decreases the dehydration you’ll experience in the morning.
Essential role water has on our bodies
Regulates body temperature
Moistens tissues in your eyes, nose and mouth
Protects body tissues and organs
Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
Helps the absorption of vitamins, minerals and nutrients from food.
Assists kidney and liver function by flushing out waste products.
It aids cognitive function, the brain is made up of 70 to 80 per cent water.
Boosts your energy levels
Helps weight loss by making you feel full and increasing your metabolism.
Helps your skin look healthy and vibrant, feel smoother.
Most importantly, listen to your body. When your body sends thirst signals to your brain, it usually means that your body is already dehydrated, listen to it, and give it what it wants. Water.