Drinking enough water is so often discussed that it sometimes seems we take this aspect of optimal health for granted, or maybe it just becomes too easy to forget to be pro-active. Even those of us that know from experience that we feel better when we’re hydrated are sometimes guilty of skipping having enough fresh water in favour of coffee, teas, sodas or other dehydrating drinks.
One of the central issues here is that unlike the physical reminder of hunger we get when our bodies need nourishment through food, we don’t necessarily have any one biological signal to indicate thirst.
Having said that, there are many symptoms that can become apparent if we’re in a chronic state of moderate dehydration and many of them are commonly mistaken as an illness in their own right.
Low energy, muscle cramping, persistent headaches or lack of regular bowel movements can all at times indicate that your system needs more water to function at its best! As a natural health practitioner I firmly believe that one of the most simple factors to taking your health into your own hands is making sure your body is getting enough of the water it needs.
Read on to find out my 5 top tips for staying hydrated:
- Start Somewhere No matter who you are, it’s not ideal to go from zero to sixty! While water is excellent for our bodies, the human system likes to see gradual incremental changes. Don’t stress yourself even more by creating an unrealistic goal, instead just start by aiming to drink 2 more glasses per day, each week. You may just be amazed at how well our body responds to these small progressive changes.
- Infuse If you’re someone who finds simple water boring or plain, or even just to spice things up a bit in your regular routine, find a few fruits that you enjoy to infuse your water with extra nutrition, flavour and colour! My favourites include: Lemon slices, Cucumber slices, Fresh mint or Frozen berries.
- Create a System Even with the best intentions, if we don’t have a system in place to make sure everything is on track to reach our daily hydration goals, it can become way too easy to get demotivated! You will innately know what works best for your lifestyle. However having a certain benchmark to reach (i.e. 2 Litres each day) and find a type of re-usable water bottle will help you stay accountable to that goal. Tip: I like to re-use the large size of Rise Kombucha bottles and aim to drink 2-3 each work day! That way if I lose my water bottle it’s no big deal, and it gives me a visual representation of how much I’ve already consumed.
- Keep it Up! If you succeed right away in meeting your daily goals, that’s incredible! But don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a little more persistence. Every single week and every day in that week is a fresh beginning – so just keep trying! The most amazing part is when all of your efforts pay off and you start to notice some of the benefits of keeping hydrated – fuller & clearer skin, better energy & improved digestion to name just a few!
- Add Electrolytes This step is especially important for those of us who work out frequently. As we sweat we lose trace minerals that are a key factor in making sure water can be utilized properly by our system. So while you may be topping up after your sweat sesh with tons of water, don’t forget to add in your electrolytes! There are lots of great companies that make concentrated electrolyte blends that can be easily added to water or juice, and many sports lines also offer flavoured ones which just need to be mixed with water.