Did you know for your body to function at its best, you should be drinking around 43ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day?
For example, if you weigh 70kg, you should be drinking 3L of water every day (0.043 x 70).
So how much water are you drinking every day? You may have thought you are drinking enough water, but so many of us are actually dehydrated…
Staying hydrated is SO important, even more so now we are coming into the warmer months. Our bodies are made up of about 70% water so it is one of the most important nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
When you're dehydrated, your blood will become thicker which then makes oxygen and nutrients harder to get to your muscles. Another thing you may find when you haven't drunk enough water is that your brain will have trouble distinguishing whether you are hungry or thirsty, so being dehydrated can lead to overeating! Another great reason to get drinking.
When you're hydrated, you will have improved energy levels and centration. If you aren't drinking enough you may find you suffer from headaches, feel flat and are constantly tired and lethargic.
Dehydration is one of those things that can just sneak up on you when you least expect it. There are a few ways to determine if you are in fact dehydrated. It is easy to 'forget' to drink enough water in our busy lives, but having a water bottle at your desk, in your bag, etc. can certainly help. Here are a few tell-tale signs you may be dehydrated:
- Yellow urine — Your urine should be clear. If it looks too orange or like tea when you go to the loo, you are dehydrated.
- Dry skin — If your body is dehydrated it will want to hold onto fluids, and your skin is the first place fluid will come from. If your skin is not very plump or you have dark circles, dry lips or sunken eyes, you may be dehydrated.
- Dizziness — If you are dehydrated, you may find you get dizzy when you stand up. When you stand up the movement causes your fluids to rush away from your heart, which can cause dizziness.
- Constipation — Another sign of dehydration could be constipation. If you are dehydrated, your body will absorb water from your intestines and draws moisture from your stools. This will cause them to be harder, drier and more difficult to pass.
- Thirst— If you are thirsty it means you are already dehydrated! By drinking water regularly you will eliminate getting thirsty!
If you are still dehydrated or not hydrated enough, you could also find that:
- You won't be able to get rid of toxins effectively
- Digestion will be less effective
- Weight loss won’t be maximised
- Still water — add a bit of fresh lemon or lime to it (have this hot or cold)
- Herbal teas — peppermint, chamomile, rooibos
- Vegetable juice
- Mineral water, soda water and tonic water — These are okay in moderation. However, they can cause bloating if drunk regularly.
- Coconut water — This is the most natural electrolyte drink. Coconut water is a good alternative to sugary energy drinks, especially if you just came from a run.
- Tea (including green tea)
- Decaf drinks
- Soft drinks, including diet drinks
- Fruit Juice
The best way to ensure you are drinking enough is to drink regularly throughout the day. A great metabolism-boosting start to the day is to have a glass of hot lemon and water (or warm water); drink it while you are preparing your breakfast.
Have a water bottle (one that holds at least 750ml) with you at all times. Have one in your bag, in your car, on the bench, on your desk at work. Aim to have drunk one bottle by mid-morning, go and fill it up, drink another one by early afternoon, fill it up and drink another one by dinner time! If you have done a workout during the day, you should aim to drink another bottle!
Stay hydrated and notice how much better you feel!
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