Have said it before. Will say it again. And again. And again.
* Drink water. Drink more water. *
If you don’t drink enough fluids (namely, water) you will become dehydrated. Every system in your body depends on water. It is vital. Water carries nutrients out of your cells, it flushes toxins out of vital organs, it provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. So, if you become dehydrated, your body won’t work as well as it should. When that happens, you are likely to notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Thirst (it seems obvious, but has to be mentioned)
- Dry mouth
- Feeling faint and/or light-headed
- Poor cognition (i.e. ‘fuzzy head’)
How much should you drink?
General advice hovers around 2-3L of fluid (ideally, water) over the course of a day. That volume will increase if the weather is warm and humid, you’re breastfeeding, you’ve been exercising heavily, or you’ve been consuming alcohol or other dehydrating beverages.
If you find it difficult to drink plain water, you can improve the ‘flavour’ by adding a squeeze of lemon, a wedge of lime, or a small handful of frozen berries to your glass. Alternatively, herbal teas and diluted freshly squeezed juices can be a good way to increase your fluid intake – and in many cases provide a therapeutic benefit as well! Some of my favourites include peppermint, lemon balm, rooibos and cinnamon, chamomile, lemongrass and passionflower.
If you are not in the habit of drinking enough and you often forget to sip water, carry a water bottle with you (a reusable one such as Sigg, Kleen Kanteen or Camelbak) so that you have a drink on hand at all times. At work or on your desk at home, sit a large glass and a bottle or jug, again so that you have water in front of you all the time.
Foods will also contribute to your hydration – particularly soups and stews, smoothies, fresh fruits and salads full of leafy greens.
So, my dears, drink up. Particularly as we’re coming into the warmer weather. But something to remember all throughout the year. Drink up.
Are you drinking enough? What’s your best tip for staying hydrated?