Water can be considered an elixir of life considering that 50-70% of the human body is made up of water and without it we will die. Yet some of us still fail to choose it as our beverage of choice.
Why is it so important to drink copious amounts of water every day?
Not only does water help detox the body by removing waste products from the body, it also helps to regulate our body temperature and helps the body absorb those precious nutrients from the food we eat and transport it throughout the body too. Throughout the day we lose water placing us at risk of dehydration, fatigue, irritability and headaches and if you are dehydrated for an extended period of time, your joints can become sore, your lower back can start to hurt and you can become constipated.
How does my body know how much water I need?
Dark urine is your body’s way of telling you that you need to drink water but don’t wait for this sign, rather aim to drink six to eight glasses of water throughout the day. If you are well hydrated, you should be urinating about once every two to four hours, and your urine would be colourless or a very pale yellow. If you are exercising, breastfeeding, are ill or are in a hot climate you may need more than six to eight glasses of water. You can also get water from foods such as watermelon, oranges and melons.
How can I drink more water daily?
Start the day with having a glass of water. Think of it as how you would give your external body a bath, so too you can give your insides a bath too. Carry a water bottle (preferably glass or BPA free) with you and refill it often. You can set a reminder on your cellphone so that you stop and drink water. If the taste of water doesn’t appeal to you, reaching for store drinks such as sweetened flavoured water, coconut water or vitamin enriched water is not an option as these contain lots of sugar. Shockingly 500 ml of these drinks contain 15g – 31g sugar per 500 ml (two average-sized cups/glasses), which is about four to eight teaspoons of sugar.
Instead try adding fresh slices of lemon, cucumber or mint leaves to your water in order to change the flavour profile of the water. Although you can drink it immediately the flavor does intensify the longer it gets to stand. Flavoured water can be kept for three days in the fridge. You can also make homemade unsweetened iced tea with rooibos or other fruity herbal teas and garnish with lemon slices, mint leaves and fresh fruit slices.