Drinking enough water is important year round, not just in the hot summer months. While risk of dehydration is heightened in summer and majority of people find it easier to get in at least a few glasses of water a day, in the colder months water can easily be overlooked by many in favour of other more flavourful or warming drinks. However there is no drink as simple, cheap, convenient or important for our health as water. Water makes up around 80% of our body weight and it is needed for digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients as well as the elimination of waste products from our bodies. During the summer months, especially here in Australia on those 30+ degree-days when heat stress may be high, insufficient water intake can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke! But even in colder months, low water intake can lead to dehydration, which can diminish physical and mental performance. Water requirements vary from person to person depending on their size, body composition, exercise levels and alcohol and caffeine intake – but around 2L of fluids per day is the recommended intake for adults. Drinking plenty of water can help with maintaining a healthy weight, ensuring optimal energy levels, increasing productivity and concentration and can assist with healthy bowel movements. No matter what other foods and fluids you consume over the day, try and make water your main drink.
Easy ways to increase your water intake are:
- Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning and last thing before bed
- Placing water on the table and drinking a glass with every meal
- Carrying a drink bottle around with you everywhere you go
- Flavouring with fresh fruits and herbs like cucumber and lime or pomegranate and mint
- Drinking unflavoured mineral, soda or sparkling water for bubbles
- Drinking decaffeinated or herbal teas.
Pro Nutrition SA