I made a promise to take better care of myself in 2018, starting in the simplest way possible… drink more water. We see it everywhere – Evian adverts turning us into adorable baby versions of ourselves to promote how young and alive you feel after a sprinkle of Adam’s ale – but why is water THE most important life-giving substance on this planet?
- Two thirds of our bodies are made up of water! If we’re dehydrated, our brains and organs cannot function to their full ability. It would be like driving a car with a flat tire. But, this doesn’t just mean slowing down and needing a nap, it can play havoc with our emotions, our bodies’ ability to heal and to absorb nutrients from the food we eat – it even causes your brain to shrink, which is a bit alarming!
- Quite often we mistake thirst for hunger, so if you’re looking to shape up this summer, a simple increase in your water intake will stop your body from feeling the urge to snack unnecessarily. Enjoy calorie-free aqua in between hearty balanced meals and you’ll soon put the KitKat down!
- Don’t just drink when you’re thirsty. There is a big delay between our bodies’ need for fluid and that message being relayed to our brain. If you are feeling thirsty you could have been dehydrated for as long as an hour already! So drink regularly. Don’t just flood the body at the last moment. The best thing to do is to buy yourself a reusable flask and keep it on you at all times. If a jug of water is sat in front of you at home, on your bedside table, or even in your handbag (maybe not a jug in that case), you have a constant reminder to have a guzzle.
- With that in mind – don’t diss tap water. We’re so lucky in the UK to have free-flowing water in our homes that meet high safety standards so you can consume it at your convenience. If you are funny with the flavour of tap water, why not fit a filter or slice up a lemon, cucumber or strawberry for a twist?
- According to the European Food Safety Authority, an average woman should be getting at least 1.6 litres a day, while the average man is looking at at least 2 litres a day, or between 8-10 glasses. As with anything, this is an average so doesn’t take into consideration varying factors such as age, weight, environment and active lifestyle, but it’s a good starting point.
- It’s thought we get around 20% of water from the food we eat and there are lots of water-rich foods to enjoy – watermelon, oranges, yoghurt, broth-based soups, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and so on – but you should always be drinking the pure stuff where possible. Tea and fruit juice, although hydrating, are also high in sugar and diuretics, so enjoy as only a small part of your hydration goals! Why not dilute your orange juice with pure H2O, next time you fancy a glass?
Photography by Kyle Galvin