Let’s get hydrated!
When you think about it, 70% of our bodies are made up of water, so keeping ourselves well hydrated is obviously going to be key. Our hearts, brains and lungs are particularly water-heavy organs and it’s awful to think of our poor hearts drying out, let alone our brains shrivelling with thirst as they struggle to keep on top of our to-do lists.
It’s a good thing to remind ourselves that our bodies are essentially water-based machines that need a steady supply of H20 to keep operating in peak condition.
Drink this: Every living cell in the human body needs water to keep functioning.
Get a handle on your hydration
When we fail to supply our bodies with the necessary dose of H20, bad things start to happen. We get headaches, feel tired, lightheaded and dizzy, get a dry mouth, smelly breath, and can end up very constipated. We lose our strength and stamina too. And no-one wants that, right?!
A trusty hydration barometer is our urine. So use yours as a hydration yardstick. Here’s how: The colour of your urine will tell you instantly where you are hydration-wise. It should be pale straw in colour and not strong smelling. The more orange it becomes the less hydrated your body is. Very dark amber coloured urine, with or without a potent smell, is a big red flag that you are not getting enough H20. Your urine is bound to be a bit darker in the mornings because you haven’t drunk anything for 8 hours – so don’t panic if your first pee of the day is darker than the others.
Don’t wait until you are exercising or in roasting, sunshine to up your water intake. And never wait till you are thirsty to drink. We need to be hydrated at all times which, according to NHS guidelines involves drinking 6-8 glasses a day (1.2 litres).
So, we know we need it, and more of it in the heat – so what follows are my tips for staying well watered throughout Summer.
Drink this: A raging thirst is a warning sign that you are already dehydrated.
- Drink a glass of water first thing every day, before anything else passes your lips. Before sitting down for breakfast or making that cup of tea or coffee ahem I mean hot lemon and ginger, go straight to the tap. Before you even talk to your kids or other half get to the sink and drink. Basically, before your day has begun. And make this a habit.
- Before you eat, always drink a glass or two of H2O. Taking on these two easy habits takes you very close to the recommended daily minimum – effortlessly.
- Add more water-rich foods to your diet. There are loads of Free foods that are hydrating: watermelon, courgettes, eggplant, lettuce, spinach, broth-based soups, tomatoes cucumbers, yogurt, broccoli, and apples are just a few examples.
- Sex it up. Go fizzy, add cucumber, celery or other veg to your glass, so you’ve got a Bite-free nibble at the end of your glass. Grapefruit, strawberries and blueberries also work well. A few blueberries also make a delicious addition to a G&T, but I digress….
- At work, every time you go to the loo (make sure it’s pale straw)! and/or pass the water station, make it a habit to drink a glass.
- Track it. Use your Unislim App tracker. Tracking your water intake keeps you honest and helps you to really get a grip on how much you are drinking.
- Carry water with you at all times. Personalise it with your own stylish bottle (reusable of course). This constant companion will be a ready reminder of your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Make it your own by adding your signature twist, be that a squeeze of lemon or lime and/or fresh herbs like basil and mint. Whatever floats your boat. Whenever you reach into your bag, there’s an instant healthy remedy to pep up flagging energy levels.
- Make your own lollies and popsicles using the Unislim fruity iced pops recipe and any other brilliant recipes that pop up online: Twitter, Insta or our Facebook page are great resources, and right here of course.
- Add ice to everything. This helps dilute alcoholic drinks (think icy G&Ts or white wine spritzers). The received wisdom is to have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink, and this is sound advice. But if it’s easier and delicious, why not add ice to both that alcoholic drink and your water. Not only will it help you stay cool, it will rehydrate you twice as fast.
There is no doubt that upping your H20 intake will help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Hunger is often thirst in disguise, and even when it’s not, the water you’ve got into the habit of drinking first just to be on the safe side, will also help plug that hunger hole.
Drink more water to feel fuller faster.
Ruth Field xx