Our bodies are made up of 60% water, seems incredible doesn't it? But without such a high percentage of water in our system, our bodies just couldn’t function - bodily fluids are needed for digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Steady and consistent hydration is the best way to ensure your body is getting what it needs. Often, we miss the signs of dehydration simply because we don't feel thirsty. But thirst isn't the only indicator of dehydration, there can be all sorts of clues:
Dehydration is not always caused in the most obvious of ways either, we all know that hot weather, exercise and illness can dehydrate us. But also an evening of drinking alcohol will cause your kidneys to flush out extra sodium and water through the body when you urinate, because alcohol is a diuretic. The same is true of tea & coffee, as caffeine is a mild diuretic too. How can we make drinking water a habit, so that it counteracts all the different ways that we lose fluids throughout the day?
Start your day with water!
According to thegrocer.co.uk 32% of consumers say they are unable to start their day without a cup of tea. Perhaps you feel the same way about coffee? Either way, try drinking a glass of water whilst the kettle is boiling. It's a really simple way to get water into your system before the day has even got started with some caffeine! Your body with thank you for it, particularly if you haven't drunk any water during the night.
Once you have that precious cuppa or coffee in hand, it's easy to roll from one hot drink into the next. These sort of routines are usually deeply ingrained habits, so how can we still enjoy a hot-drink-habit without dehydrating?
1. As with first thing in the morning, you could begin by drinking a glass of water whilst the kettle boils
2. Make your usual hot drink, and a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon - 2 for the price of 1!
3. Alternate between a caffeinated hot drink and a herbal / fruit tea, or glass of water or squash. Mix it up.
There are so many ways to log how much water you are consuming every day and it's a great motivator too. Try one of these ideas to help you get into the habit of drinking enough!
Any additional non-alcoholic fluids are good for your general health and wellbeing. Don't forget that water-rich foods are also a great way to stay hydrated, so stock up on cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, grapes and lettuce!
More information on hydration from the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/