We’re always told that we need to drink more water and hydration is definitely a cornerstone of health. After all, we’re made up of 60-70% of the stuff and virtually every process in the body depends on water in some form. We’re all taught that in school but what are the real life effects of not getting enough? And how much should you drink? And how do you easily make sure you’re well hydrated without it all becoming a bit of a bind?
The less obvious signs that you’re not drinking enough water
We all know the obvious signs of dehydration. Thirsty? Wee too dark a yellow? Definitely dehydrated and quickly remedied. But what are the more subtle signs of dehydration that we might be experiencing without being aware that it might be down to water intake?
If you feel tired all the time, this may well be down to dehydration. Try upping your water intake over the next week or so to see if this affects your energy levels.
Do you find yourself feeling hungry between meals and snacking? Before you reach for the snacks, have a big glass of water and see if this takes away the craving for food. Often, dehydration can feel like hunger and is quickly quenched, literally.
What are the upsides of staying well watered?
Drinking enough water isn’t just about avoiding the symptoms of dehydration. Staying well hydrated can give multiple benefits to your health and wellbeing for what is really not too much effort. Do the following sound good?
- Increased energy
- Better skin
- Improved digestion
- More sleep
- Better control of weight
- Reduced joint and back pain
As the saying goes, if a pill offered the above, you’d take it!
How much should I drink?
‘2 litres’ is the figure that we always are told to drink each day but is this right? Facing a 2 litre bottle of water to get through can seem like a big challenge and puts people off. So, is 2 litres the right amount to drink each day or is it just one of those things that has become an accepted truth through repetition over the years (often by companies selling us bottled water)?
Clearly, one figure can’t fit all. We’re all different sizes with different metabolisms, living different lives so, no, if for no other reason, 2 litres shouldn’t be seen as the figure as we’re all different.
It’s too simplistic a way of viewing water in another way: water’s not the only place you get water from. While 2 litres might be approximately what we need (making allowances for us all being different ), that doesn’t mean that we need to get through a 2 litre bottle each day. We get a lot of the water we need from what we eat as well as from drinks such as tea and coffee which were previously demonised as causing us to need to drink more water.
It’s not easy to quantify how much the body gets this way but it does mean that you don’t need to work your way through 2 litres of water through the day.
The easiest way to make sure you get enough
All that you need to do is just regularly access water through the day. Your body will take what it needs and get rid of the rest.
As with all things ‘health’ there are often hacks that make things easy. With water, try the following:
- Drink a glass of water when you put the kettle on for your first hot drink of the day.
- When you’re ready for the day ahead, fill a bottle of water that you can take with you through the day. Aim to have to refill it at lunchtime
- Or, if that’s too faffy or you don’t want to be carting a bottle about through the day, just have a glass of water before each meal.