Keeping hydrated is very important, without water we would die within a few days. Amazingly, water makes up over two thirds of our bodies. Its roles include maintaining body temperature, transporting nutrients, removing waste, lubricating joints and aiding digestion.
If you are not drinking enough water then symptoms can include feeling thirsty, dry mouth, tiredness, headaches, passing less urine than normal and dark or strong smelling urine. Other reasons for becoming dehydrated could be illness such as diarrhoea or vomiting, or excess sweating.
A good visual guide to whether or not you are drinking enough is to look at your urine!
Dark coloured urine is a good sign that you are dehydrated. Normal urine should be a pale straw colour.
To prevent dehydration then adults need to be drinking 1600-2000mls per day, this would equate to 8-10 200ml drinks per day. The amount of fluid your body needs depends on factors such as your weight, age, health, exercise and temperature.
The best fluid to stay hydrated is water, but any fluid will do the job – teas*, coffee*, milk. Fruit juices are high in sugar and should only be taken in small amounts daily (150mls) and limit sugary drinks – full sugar fizzy pop, full sugar squash and energy drinks, as these can cause weight gain drank in excess and can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. Alcohol should be drank in moderation, Sarah discusses alcohol in more depth here.
(*Caffine should be limited in pregnancy).
Keep a water bottle in your bag / on your desk / around the house so you can be swigging on it through out the day. If you are not keen on plain water then try flavouring it – slices of lemon, lime, orange or mint leaves.
One way to have a slice of citrus fruit ready for your water at all time is to freeze slices of lemon, lime, orange (or any other fruit!) and then keep in a bag in the freezer so you can pop one or two slices in your drink when ever you want it!
Stay happy and stay hydrated!