Don’t forget to drink – water that is…
‘Help, I’m melting…’ Sound familiar? And it’s not just the Wicked Witch in the Land of Oz who can suffer this fate.
For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the weather has only just started to warm up (thank goodness!). Generally with the warmer weather and in the lead up to the holiday season, we become busier, spend more time outside, drink more alcohol, or generally become more distracted, it is easy for our levels of hydration to decrease.
Water is essential for every cellular process including burning fat. Even a 1% drop in hydration can affect our metabolism. Our brain also relies heavily on our fluid intake and level of hydration, and as we become dehydrated our thinking and particularly the efficiency of our neural processing will be affected. While we can live a relatively long period of time without food, we can’t live without water.
If you are struggling to keep hydrated (particularly throughout the warmer months), here are a few hydration tips:
- Make water accessible – carry a water bottle everywhere.
- Drink a glass of water right before a meal – It keeps your water intake up AND helps you feel full and eat less. One study found that people who drank water before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at each meal. Every little bit helps!
- Drink water after each glass of alcohol. This slows down your rate of alcohol consumption and helps keep you hydrated at the same time.
- Water doesn’t have to be boring. Spice it up! Grab sparkling water or add some fruit, vegies, or herbs to your next glass! Water infused with lemon, mint, cucumber, lime, or apple cider vinegar can make your water taste great, and help with your digestion.
- Set alerts on your phone or calendar to remind you when its time to drink more water, or download one of the ‘drink more water’ apps for your smart phone.
- Get sneaky by eating water enriched foods like watermelon or tomatoes – both are over 90% water not to mention being delicious and healthy for you!
- If you must drink juices or wine dilute them with water. It will reduce some of the calories per glass and have the added benefit of increasing your water intake.
So how is your water intake at the moment? Most of us could probably drink a glass or two more each day. What small changes would help you to not only increase your water intake this spring, but create a hydration habit that continues into summer?