According to some research carried out by scientists and Loughborough University, we’re twice as likely to struggle with everyday tasks when we’re dehydrated. The study examined, amongst other things, the ability to drive, and it revealed that lives could be being placed in danger due to the mental effects of dehydration.
But how much is enough? There is also evidence to suggest that too much water in the body can be harmful too — leading to issues such as insomnia, excessive sweating and death.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, women should be drinking around 1.6 litres of water every day, while men should be consuming around 2.0 litres. But this water doesn’t all have to come from fluids… it can come from water too.
If you want to get more water into your diet with very little effort, there are seven very simple ways to go about it.
1. Eat water-rich fruits
There are several fruits that have a very high water content, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in antioxidants and fibre too, which can be easier for the body to absorb when they’re water soluble. Believe it or not, the flesh of a watermelon is around 92 percent water. It also happens to contain important salts that speed up the rehydration of your body.
Research carried out by the University of Aberdeen Medical School revealed that watermelon helps rehydrate the body twice as efficiently as water alone, so keep this in mind the next time you’re heading to the gym.
2. Make water more interesting
Drinking water can get a little boring at times, but there are ways to “jazz” up your H20 without too much effort. For instance, add some lemon, freshly sliced cucumber or fresh strawberries to give your water some subtle flavour profiles.
3. Drink water before and during meals
Make a commitment to drinking water before and during every meal and snack. This is a good way to ensure you’re drinking pure water at least three or four times a day. There is also evidence to suggest filling up on water at mealtimes suppresses hunger.
4. Sip in water throughout the day
Whether you’re watching TV, reading, walking or sitting at your desk, sipping at water throughout the day will keep your hydration levels at a consistently high level. Use sticky notes to remind yourself to keep filling up. And if you want to increase your steps throughout the day, stick to small cups of water — so you need to constantly get up for a refill.
5. Dilute your smoothies and juices
Don’t worry if you prefer a sweet smoothie or fruit juice instead of plain, old water. Create a drink of three parts smoothie or juice and one part water to up your water intake without sacrificing your favourite beverages.
6. Embrace technology
There are now several health apps that, amongst other things, track your water intake. Based on your activity levels, your weight, lifestyle and diet, these apps calculate the optimum daily water intake for your body. You tell the app when and how much you drink, and it will tell you when you’ve reached your goal.
7. Counteract diuretics
If you’re worried that your consumption of diuretics such as alcohol and coffee are leaving you dehydrated, there are a few steps you can take. For instance, you can substitute every other alcoholic drink on a night out with water. Also, drinking a lot of water just before you head to bed after a night’s drinking will also help the rehydration process. If you’re a coffee lover, drink a glass of water every time you wait for a brew.
Staying hydrated is essential for every single process in the human body. If you’re always hydrated, you should be happier, healthier and full of energy.