We’ve all been told that water makes up two thirds of the human body.
We know that keeping hydrated is important. But what does it really mean for you or me? How can we tell if we are well hydrated?
Staying hydrated is critical to all metabolic functions. Your body needs water for basically everything it does: it regulates body temperature through sweating, it lubricates the joints, it helps transport nutrients through your body to keep you energised and healthy… The list goes on. And if you start to dehydrate, everything just stops working so well. You feel tired and moody, you can start to feel dizzy, your physical and mental performance plummets, and it can even cause bad breath (no one likes bad breath).
Here are our 8 tricks to make sure you stay hydrated this summer
Drink upon waking
This is the easiest little hack to get you off to a good start for the day. Throughout the night, especially in warm weather, the body loses water through sweat (even if you don’t wake up with sweat patches!) and normal bodily functions. Keep a glass or a bottle of water by your bed and take a few big gulps when you wake up in the morning. This will also help your body ‘move things along’ and get your morning toilet run out of the way sooner (and easier).
Drink water throughout the day
It’s easy to forget to drink when you’re sat at a desk all day. Keep a bottle of water by your side to help you stay hydrated. Avoid waiting to feel super thirsty before drinking: rather, take a sip as soon as you feel a little thirsty.
Hydrate during your workout
When you work out, your body temperature rises, causing you to sweat to keep cool (see how water regulates body temperature?). If you are into intense workouts where you sweat loads, or longer efforts like marathons, cycling or triathlons, you’ll need to replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat (electrolytes are what make your sweat taste salty).
Check the toilet
Check the toilet after you go to the loo. The colour of your urine is always a good indication of how hydrated you are. When well hydrated, it should be pale yellow. Any darker and you’ll need to hit the water cooler pronto.
Listen to your body
Your body knows what’s best for it. If you take the time to listen to what it’s telling you, you’ll know when your body's supplies of H2O are starting to run out. At the first sign of thirst, take a few sips to avoid dehydration.
Dry mouth is a bad sign!
If your mouth is starting to feel like a dried out ash tray, it’s definitely time to hydrate. This is also a major cause of bad breath, and no one likes that.
Eat fresh fruit and veg
Fresh fruit and vegetables like watermelons or cucumbers are full of water. They can balance out a meal nicely (compare these with starchy food like rice or couscous!). Bananas are great natural sources of electrolytes (potassium in particular), so munch a banana and sip a little water when you’re running low on fuel this summer.
Monitor body weight
If you struggle to pick up on your body’s natural hydration hints, monitor your body weight. Most of the time, if you notice a sudden big change in your weight, it is due to your levels of hydration. So, no: booze is not good for weight loss, it just means you’re super dehydrated, sorry!
Got your own hacks to add to our list? Let us know in the comments!