Proper hydration is so important for our overall health. Water flushes out toxins from our bodies, prevents fatigue and headaches caused by dehydration, keeps the joints lubricated and can stop us overeating by mistaking thirst for hunger. There are many other benefits to proper hydration aswell but it’s not always easy to remember to drink enough. Here are some of the things that I find helpful to stay hydrated.
- Having a huge water bottle. I try to drink around 3 litres of water per day (this doesn’t include caffeinated drinks) and to ensure this happens I have a BPA free 1.5 litre water bottle that I aim to fill at least twice during the day. Granted it’s a bit of a pain to lug around but being a mum to a toddler I’m already carrying loads everywhere I go anyway, so it really doesn’t make that much difference!
- Sugar free squash. I’m not going to lie this isn’t the healthiest of drinks, particularly if it contains artificial sweeteners (aspartame and saccharin are especially bad) but I do use it and it does help me drink my water as it just makes things a bit more interesting. Chopped fruits such as lemons and limes could be a healthier alternative to add some flavour.
- BCAA’s. If you lead and active lifestyle and workout then BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids: supposedly aid muscle repair) can be added to water. These usually come in the form of flavoured powders and make the water taste a lot nicer. I personally do not use these anymore as I am breastfeeding and I couldn’t find any research to confirm their safety during nursing.
- Limit caffeinated drinks or go decaf. Easier said than done, especially if you have been up all night with a teething baby! But caffeine acts as a diuretic (makes you produce more urine) meaning it encourages water loss from the body. I try and have an extra glass of water for every tea/coffee I have.
- Water rich foods such as melon, cucumber and fresh fruit make great snacks and up the daily water intake.
- Avoid alcohol. I used to be a fairly big consumer of wine but I have recently given up alcohol aside from very special occasions. A top tip of you are going to be drinking is to match every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water. Keeps you hydrated, can stop you drinking too much and may help with the next days sore head!
- Start the day with a big glass of water. I always have water even before my morning coffee. A big glass makes me feel more awake and alert and refreshed after a night of night feeds!
I would recommend trying to consume at least eight glasses of water per day (you may need more if exercising, in hot weather and if nursing) for at least a week and see if you notice any benefits. I personally find that my skin tends to improve, I feel less bloated and I can think clearer. Once you notice the perks of staying hydrated it’s much easier to remember to get your daily water intake in!