Your body needs to be properly hydrated if it’s going to function properly. It needs fluid to help regulate body temperature, flush out toxins, relieve fatigue aid in digestion and lubricate the tissues, organs and joints.
It’s generally recommended to consume at least eight to ten glasses of fluids a day but these requirements may vary for different individuals. Plus, you may need to drink more to help replenish lost fluids especially after exercising or generally engaging in strenuous activities that makes you sweat.
You may also need a greater amount of fluids when you take more proteins because much water is needed to flush out the Nitrogen element in protein. You can also also need enough water if you take so much fiber as fiber absorbs water.
A simple way to determine if you’re drinking enough water is to check the colour of your urine, it says alot about your water intake. If you notice that it is darker, then your body needs more water. If it is amber or generally lighter, then you’re good to go. Other signs that you’re dehydrated though include light-headedness, lack of energy and headaches.
Here are a few ways to help you take more water:
This may be obvious but it’s essential to reaching your target. A good way to motivate yourself to take in more fluids is to experience the benefits of taking water by actually taking water. This will help motivate you even when you do not feel like.
You could also put small witty notes reminding you to drink water around the house. You could have them at your desk, room or anywhere else you spend a lot of time.
You cN even use your mobile device to keep track of your water intake and to remind you to drink more water. This may be ridiculous, but setting an alarm to remind you about drinking water every now and then could be helpful too.
Identify Your Thirst
One area of the brain is responsible for controlling both thirst and hunger signals, it’s known as the hypothalamus. It sends the same signals for both, so it’s very common for us to confuse both feelings.
So whenever you feel hungry, drink some water firstly and wait for about ten to twenty minutes to see if you’re satiated. If so, then you were actually thirsty, not hungry.
Keep it Handy
Going around with a reusable water bottle in your purse, car or gym bag is a great way to help you drink more water. The thought that you have water will make you always want to take a sip, which is a good thing.
Plus, it will help you stay away from soda drinks or other sweetened beverages that you may be tempted to choose as a replacement for water when you don’t have a water handy.
Explore More Options
There are other ways to boost your fluid intake apart from just taking water. You could go for herbal teas like peppermint tea, chamomile tea, ginger tea, etc. A few cups of green tea will also do you a lot of good as it will not only leave you hydrated but will also improve your overall health as a result of its antioxidant content.
Other options include :
• Coconut water
• Low fat milk
• Soy milk and other soy drinks
• Flavoured ice
• Natural smoothies
• Frozen fruit pops
These options, though useful, should not be your primary source of fluid intake but should be secondary. Take them in moderation.
Water-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Taking more fruits and vegetables with high water content is another great way to increase your fluid intake. Some fruits and vegetables with high water content include watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, papaya, strawberries, cherries, grapes, etc.
Plus, these foods add minimal calories to your diet and promotes a feeling of fullness so you don’t end up overeating.
As a matter of fact, in 2009, a study carried out by some researchers found that fruits and vegetables rich in water containing sugars, minerals and hydrating salts have the ability to hydrate your body way more than a glass of water would. It has also been found that plant chemicals like zeaxanthin and lutein can help increase hydration even further.
You could snack on these foods or add them to your salads and smoothies.
Note :Before bed, avoid taking so much fluid as it may disrupt your sleep.
Add Natural Flavorings
If you think water is way too plain to take all the time, you could add a little something extra to improve its taste. For example, you could add orange slices, pineapple chunks, cucumber slices, lemon wedges, grapes, berries and other fruits, fresh or frozen.
When using fruits, the ripe ones guarantee sweetness and flavour. Herbs could also be used. For example, basil leaves, rosemary sprigs, mint leaves, mint extracts, etc, could be used.
You could add three cups of strawberries (they should be cut) and eight lightly crushed basil leaves in a two quart Mason jar. Add six cups of 8ce and pour in water to fill the jar to the tip. Stir using a wooden spoon and Place the lid on. Place the liquid in the refrigerator for at least two hours and then enjoy flavoured water.
You could also combine watermelon and rosemary, apple, orange and grapes, honeydew melon and lime, cherries and Lemon , strawberries and mango, strawberry, kiwi and lemon and mint and cucumber.