Northampton Chronicle and Echo 14/2/19
Tuesday 26th February 2019
Are You Drinking Enough?
Are you drinking enough? It's a question I ask a lot of people I talk to. There are many symptoms that can tell us if we are and it's worth taking a moment to think about this, as staying adequately hydrated is vital to our wellbeing.
Symptoms of dehydration don't happen quickly, they emerge over a number of days and weeks. They can be -
A dry mouth
Low blood pressure
Increased heart rate
Dry and flaky skin
Here's a quick check if you feel you may be suffering from dehydration, check the colour of your urine next time you go to the toilet. If it's a dark colour there is a good chance you are (however, there are some medication that can cause this, so if in doubt see your GP).
So, how much should you be drinking a day? Many of us may already be able to answer that, as it is a fact that seems to have popped up over the years in the news around us. 8 glasses. And not shot glasses! 8 "good sized" ones.
You will be pleased to know that teas and coffee do count, but if you are relying on these for your total fluids every day and use sweeteners too, this will cause other health issues, so this should be a range of different drinks. The other point that may need to be made is that alcohol does NOT count towards your 8 glasses a day, even if those fruity cocktails or trendy gins taste really good!
What does count? What would be a good balance? There are so many choices of drinks out there now, it would be a crime to not hit the 8 glasses. Herbal teas come in such a range of flavours and they really are worth a rummage through to find one you like. If you are trying to lose weight, starting a regime of an afternoon herbal tea time may find you less likely to reach for the biscuit tin and will fill you up until the next meal. Just this 1 small change can help improve hydration and lose a few pounds quite quickly!
Coconut water has been labelled the new "best hydrator" and can be seen as an important accessory for gym users. However, there is absolutely no firm evidence to support this is better than water, but the added electrolytes found in coconut water can be a great, natural alternative. It is rather expensive though, so feel free to stick to stuff from the tap!
What can you do to help yourself? Increase your fruit and vegetables as these have high water content. The best hydrating ones are - lettuce, celery, radish and cucumber. Drink juices and smoothies. Make your own ice lollies and eat lots of broth style soups.
Here's an easy recipe to get you going.
Apple, Kiwi and Fennel Seed Slush
Place 1 apple (cored and chopped),2 kiwis (peeled and chopped), 300ml coconut water/water, ¼ tsp fennel seeds and a large handful of ice into a highspeed blender and process until smooth and slushie!
Enjoy the great drinks around you and look after that hydration, your body will love you for it.