Most people are unaware that drinking plenty of the right type of fluid is just as essential as eating
for good nutrition. Drinking tea, coffee and the odd glass of wine is all very well, but it’s plain and
simple water that does wonders for the body. Put simply, water is a vital component of our diets. In
fact, more than that, it makes up 50-70% of an average adults body weight.
Why should you be drinking water?
– It gets your metabolism going and can be a very effective weight loss aid. Drinking a glass of
water before meals also helps you to feel more full, therefore you eat less.
– Water boosts energy levels. Dehydration results in fatigue. Water also helps transport
oxygen and other essential nutrients around the body to cells, meaning that the heart
doesn’t have to work as hard.
– 85% of brain tissue is water. Depletion of these levels leads to stress. For smooth, focused
thinking – stay hydrated.
– Water also builds muscle tone. It helps prevent cramping and lubricates the joints.
– Water gives you clearer skin; it hydrates essential cells and flushes out impurities.
– Good hydration aids digestion and helps regulate bowel movements, having a positive
impact on energy levels.
– On a medical note, water helps prevent kidney stones. It does this by diluting the salt and
minerals in urine which form solid crystals known as kidney stones.
How can you ensure that you drink enough water?
Department of Health guidelines recommend that the average adult should drink around 8 glasses of
water per day. This number needs to be increased if you exercise because so much fluid is lost
through sweat. And remember – if you feel thirsty, your body is already slightly dehydrated.
Simple ways of drinking more water:
– Start as you mean to go on and drink a glass as soon as you wake up
– Keep a bottle of water on your desk as you work, within easy reach
– Carry a bottle of water with you when you’re out and about so you can easily stay hydrated
– Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables as they are both high in water content
Drinks to avoid:
– Soft drinks. They are always full of sugar or sweeteners which make them highly calorific
and they aren’t that good at hydrating you.
– Concentrated fruit juices. During the concentration process these juices have had all
vitamins, nutrients and fibre pulled out, which essentially means that they end up as a
mixture of sugar and water, with little nutritional value.
– Alcohol. Everything in moderation is a good rule, but this is more true for alcohol than other
things. Too much alcohol piles on the weight because of the empty calories it contains and it
also has a very dehydrating effect on the body. This means that you need to drink more
water after drinking alcohol to make up the damage to your body.