Do you struggle to drink as much water a day as you know you should? Here are some tips to help you hydrate more frequently - plus free recipes for water-rich treats!
Did you know that up to two thirds of your body is made up of water? Each of your cells depends on this life-sustaining fluid to function. Because your body continually loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's essential to rehydrate.
Exactly how much water you need a day depends on your gender, age, activity level and environment. According to the Institute of Medicine, most adult women need about 2.7 litres of water a day, and men need about 3.7 litres. These numbers can seem daunting for even the most diligent of us, but don't be alarmed - this includes all sources of water. That means the water content from the foods you eat counts towards your daily water requirement.
Of course, nothing quite beats drinking pure, clean water. Here are some tips on how to incorporate more water-drinking into your daily routine.
10 tips to consume more water daily
- Link water-drinking to other daily routines
To get a habit going, link water-drinking to a few of your usual daily activities. Start your morning with a cup, or have one every time you're about to brush your teeth. Leaving your work desk for a bathroom break? Stop by the water cooler each time to gulp down a glass on your way back.
- Flavour up your jug
If plain water bores your taste buds, tingle your senses by infusing your water with appetising items. Try dropping in slices of fresh fruit (strawberries, oranges, kiwi or grapefruit), veggie slices (cucumber, celery or ginger), and herbs (mint, rosemary, basil or lavender). Quench your thirst with this recipe for lavender and lime-flavoured water.
- Keep it in arm's reach
It's much easier to drink more often when there's a source close by. Make sure there's a large bottle or carafe by your bed at home, on the kitchen counter, at your work desk and in the car as a constant reminder to keep drinking.
- Enjoy more water-rich foods
A clever way to ramp up your daily water consumption is to eat it! Many fruit and vegetables have a high water content, and can help rehydrate you more tastily than water alone. Top of the lot are cucumber (96% water), marrows (95% water) and watermelon (92% water). Check these recipes for scrumptious baby marrow, tomato and basil rolls and this refreshing watermelon, olive and feta salad, courtesy of the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood studio.
- Start your meals with sips
Always ask for water when your waitron comes by for drink orders. Consuming a full cup before each meal can make you feel fuller, and help curb your kilojoule intake.
- Water down sugary drinks
If you often drink juice, iced tea or lemonade, dilute your drink with water or ice. Aim towards a one-to-one ratio over time. This will offer you the sweetness you crave while slowly curbing it, as well as refresh you with a healthier dose of water. Here's an easy-to-follow recipe for a healthy homemade rooibos and orange ice tea.
- Invest in a filter or soda-maker
Dislike the taste of tap water? A filter can help. Invest in portable water bottle that comes with a filter, or a system for your kitchen sink. Consider getting a soda-maker to fizz up your water at home - this works especially well at making water consumption more appealing to kids.
- Choose sparkling water over fizzy drinks or booze
Carbonated water is bubbly, kilojoule-free and just as healthy as plain water. Fizzy water is also a staple for healthier versions of favourite alcoholic beverages. Use seltzer water and fresh fruit instead of sugar-packed mixers for refreshing and far healthier drinks.
- If you drink alcohol, try the one-to-one rule
If you're prone to knocking a few back, try make a habit of downing a glass of water for every cocktail or alcoholic beverage you drink. This will fill you up quicker, so you're less likely to overconsume. It'll also help you cut back on sugary mixers and syrup, and avoid a hangover the next day.
- Keep track with an app
It's easy and potentially quite satisfying to track your water intake with a free smartphone app. With apps like Daily Water Free or Carbodroid, you can set daily reminders and alarms on your phone to help keep you hydrated.
So give these tips a shot and you'll soon take to healthy hydration like a duck to water!
Treat yourself to mouth-watering meals at home
Interested in flavourful recipes made with fresh, healthy ingredients? Save big on dining out when you learn how to make and enjoy delicious meals yourself at the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood Studio.
This state-of-the-art cooking and dining kitchen is brought to you by Discovery Vitality and Woolworths, with culinary excellence by Prue Leith Chefs Academy. Learn from the pros by booking today at www.healthyfoodstudio.co.za.
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