It goes without saying that water is essential for life, but just how much of this liquid gold do you actually need for your body to stay healthy throughout our scorching hot weather? The answer is simple: probably a whole lot more than you are drinking right now! Did you know a whopping 75% of us are chronically dehydrated? The average person requires approximately 35ml of water per kilo of body weight; that’s 2.5L for a 70kg adult (more if you are sick, sweating, or pregnant).
So what do we actually need it for anyway? In one word: everything. Every single cell in your body needs water to be able to function properly. It can even improve conditions like arthritis, constipation, fatigue, heart disease, headache, a hangover, obesity, and swelling (yes, swelling! Believe it or not you actually need to drink more water so your body can flush that fluid out).
But water is so boring; I can’t possibly drink that much each day! Yes, you can. It’s all about pacing yourself; start the day with a glass of water (warm with the juice of half a lemon if you really want to give your liver and digestive system a kickstart), and then keep a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day. It’s really just a matter of forming a new habit and allowing your body to adjust to it.
Drink a glass before every coffee, tea, soft drink or alcoholic beverage too, as these can be dehydrating and undo all your efforts. Try adding some slices of fresh citrus or cucumber, or a splash of natural fruit juice to mix things up a bit, but don’t bother reaching for those electrolyte ‘sports’ drinks unless you have been sweating heavily for over an hour. If you have, then go for it, as your body will need more than plain water to replace the electrolytes and carbohydrates it has lost.
You’ll know when you’re on track by taking note of the colour of your urine; if it is a very light shade of yellow, you’re doing great! If it is a darker shade, you need to drink more. If you wait until you are actually thirsty, it’s too late! You, my friend, are already dehydrated! Drink up!
Click here for more tips on how to drink more water and reach your daily requirements.
If you need specific nutritional information, book a consultation with Belinda.
Photo credit: Benjamin Voros on Unsplash