How to Stay Hydrated

Want to know how to stay hydrated? Simple, right …just drink more water. But this is easier said than done.

We all know hydration is key to our health and wellbeing, but it is still something we often neglect. We worry too much about the food we consume, carbohydrates, fat, protein, salt and sugar content, but neglect our hydration.

Why water matters

We can survive up to 3 weeks without food. But we could survive only a week without water. (Weather conditions can shorten this).

The amount of water we need each day can vary from person to person, based on activity levels, age, health, environment and diet. We should consume 1.5 – 2 litres of water day, this does not take into account if you are exercising, which means you should consume a bit more. For a more accurate guide consider taking 1 to 1.5 ml of water for every calorie burned.  The average female should consume 2,000 calories per day, so this would be 2-3 litres per day. For males it is 2,500 calories per day meaning a water intake of 2.5 to 3.75 litres of water a day.

Does body size matter?

This also does not take into account your body size, if we are bigger or smaller than the average person we may needs less or more water.

Dehydration can impact our daily life. It is reported that just 1% dehydration can reduce our concentration. 5% dehydration can cause us to become hot and tired and our performance is decreased. 10% dehydration results in delirium and blurred vision and 20% could result in death.

If you are feeling thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. The way to test if you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine.

 

Urine hydration test - how to stay hydrated

Make it a habit

If you feel you are not drinking enough water, you may want to look to carry out a habit challenge, where you look to have a glass of water with every meal. This way you start to attach drinking water to an already existing habit, using the already set habit as a queue to drink more water.

What counts?

Liquid! Okay, some fruits and vegetables contain water, which contribute to your fluid intake for the day. When looking at liquids beware of hidden calories and sugars which can be found in fizzy drinks, coffees, shakes and smoothies. The best hydration drink is water. Interestingly post physical activity it may be milk! Water is great as it has no calories, unlike the various sports drinks and coffee shop drinks we purchase.

Graph of how different drinks hydrate you - how to stay hydtrated

*The participants were already hydrated, if they were dehydrated would the results have been different?

Diuretics

Some drinks are a diuretic – these drinks encourage your body to go to the toilet. When you’re dehydrated your body tries to hold on to what you drink for longer, so you become hydrated.

Drinks associated with being a diuretic include coffee, green and black tea, and alcohol. If we drink these drinks regularly throughout the day, you may want to consider having a glass of water before or after each cup.

Why is water important?

Water makes up around 60% of the human body, it is vital for many chemical reactions in the body as well as keeping our organs functioning it:

  • Helps us to maintain a normal body temperature
  • Ensures our blood volume is adequate
  • Hydrates our skin, preventing it feeling rough and dry
  • Reduces the chances of kidney stones
  • Helps reduce constipation
  • Main component of body fluids

Next time you are at the kettle, whilst its boiling walk to the tap and fill up a glass and a take a few sips or more, make drinking water part of your daily routine to help your energy levels and body to function correctly.

If you want to know more about how to stay hydrated, get in touch with us today, we’re happy to help.

For more information on hydration, here’s the NHS guide on the subject.