You know that feeling when you exercise after drinking a lot of water? Your body almost feels like its insides are sloshing around. Considering our bodies are made up of 60-75% water, this may not be too far from the truth!
When body cells are deprived of water, they begin to react differently. The symptoms we begin to see on the surface range from headaches, body aches to digestive problems, and can be much more serious in cases of acute dehydration.
Many think that drinking any form of liquid will cure not only that thirst, but also the dehydration. Unfortunately, many of our favourite beverages are causing this dehydration because they contain a diarrhetic. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcohol, and energy drinks all have dehydrating elements which cause the goal of hydration to be harder to achieve.
While the ‘accepted standard’ is to drink 2L a day, bio-individuality more importantly dictates we listen to our bodies needs and strive to achieve hydration satiety according to our differences. Age, activity levels, your diet, the climate and health issues all contribute to your water needs.
As a start though, it may be worth experimenting with attempting to have 2L a day for one month, and seeing how the body reacts. Upping our water consumption has been dubbed one of the best ways to create positive changes within the body. It also allows us to ‘crowd out’ the more dehydrating or unhealthy drinks from our day, as it’s hard to drink much else when you’re downing that much water!
Below are some of the best tips for upping your water intake and improving the quality of that water:
#1 Buy a bottle: Investing in a 1L glass bottle and setting the goal of two bottles a day makes water hydration a game. Challenge your colleagues and friends to a 2L challenge, and keep each other accountable.
#2 Make it a ritual: Create the habit of having one glass of water first thing every morning. Set an alarm, put your favourite glass on your kitchen bench, have it at the bedroom door so you’ll have to trip over it to get out. Hydrating first thing in the morning sets you up for a more energised day. Plus, there’s a little something you can do to spruce your water up which relates to the next tip…
#3 Spice it up: Adding lemon to your water first thing in the morning has proven scientific benefits for hydration, detoxification and digestive aid. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some turmeric and cayenne pepper to the mix for a real cleanse!
#4 Which type counts: tap water is perfectly fine (as long as you’re in a safe area) just make sure it is fresh and not left out overnight. Bottled water is also ok, but many have concerns when the bottle is plastic rather than glass. Water filters are becoming more popular, and are a good way to remove contaminants. The jury is still out on the proven benefits of alkaline water – some people swear by it and others say it’s not the way our bodies are made to drink water.
#5 Don’t give up: You will often find the first week or so in the attempt to up your water intake quite uncomfortable. Your bathroom visits will up the anti, your skin may break out as it flushes out the toxins, and you may feel more bloated than usual. This is all completely normal, but after the first 5-7 days these things should settle, and you should start to feel the benefits of the increased hydration.
Today is always the best day to start – what are you waiting for? Committing to improving your hydration will have amazing impacts on your overall health. Tag us in your water posts @energybodymind on Instagram or Facebook to show the ways you keep hydrated.