How to water your body, and what happens if you don't (it may suprise you).
By Amy Crawford
You swim in it, you wash your teeth in it, you shower and bathe in it, you drink it, you may even like to spray others with it. You do all sorts of things with the life giving substance that is water. But do you actually understand how vital it is for your overall health, beyond the need to quench your thirst and remain hydrated for mere survival?
Apparently only 35% of us actually do.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be gifted a brand new Sodastream machine, perfectly timed as it was, in light of my 3 month alcohol ban. I am of the 'enjoy a quality glass of red with dinner' kinda girl so I'll admit to looking forward to moving through these weeks swiftly (6 to go, and counting). However, let me say this: having fresh sparkling bubbles at my beck and call each evening is a hugely appreciated scenario. I'm drinking even more water too (because quite frankly, it's making the abstinence scenario a whole lot more fun).
Anyway, being that I am now well acquainted with the Sodastream machine, I am also privy to some rather interesting research findings*, as recently carried out by Sodastream themselves.
This research tells us that the simple (yet obviously essential) need to hydrate is only one reason we have to keep the supplies up. It tells us that less than one third of Australians actually understand the full effect of dehydration on our bodies.
Here's some interesting findings.
Apparently only 35% of us Aussies recognise all the key symptoms of dehydration - those being lethargy, an increase in headaches, sleeplessness, difficulty concentrating, and of course thirst. (That's despite the fact that the majority of us suffer these symptoms on a regular basis).
Also, 20% of us feel we can happily wait until we feel thirsty to rehydrate, regardless of the fact symptoms associated with dehydration will already have set in.
It appears that widely believed myths around water consumption are further exasperating the issue with almost 50% of us believing we require 2 litres a day to stay hydrated.
According to neuroscientist and Australian medical writer Dr Sarah McKay, "...the amount needed varies, dependent on individual factors including age, diet, climate and levels of physical activity. For men aged 19-70 it's actually considerably higher, at around 2.6 litres."
8 glasses? Maybe it's more like 10 for you.
Still not convinced to water your body? Try these facts on for size:
- Only 14% of the population understand that drinking just 1-2 glasses less than they need to each day can have a negative impact on cognitive function, energy levels and physical capacity (not any more Sodastream!)
- A whopping 3 million Aussies admit to feeling anxious or depressed when they have not consumed adequate water
- 11% of us would drink less sugary drinks if sparkling water was more readily available at work or home (I know that for a fact now that I'm a proud owner of a Sodastream!)
With all of this in mind, I've been using my freshly hydrated grey matter to create a (Virgo-like) list..
My top tips to help you water your body each day.
1. Fill up a jug, keep track of your daily intake
I'll let you in on my personal water rule. Every morning I fill up my one large jug and the rule is that I have to consume at least 2 of these before I hit the pillow at night, on top of my herbal tea quota. I even use this jug to fill up a water bottle if I go out and to fill up my Sodastream bottles if I want bubbles, so that I know exactly what I'm drinking (and yes, that is perhaps a little Virgo of me..). Grab yourself a jug or bottle for work so you can keep track there too.
2. Drink upon rising.
As soon as you rise hit up that jug for at least 1 large glass of water (couple it with some apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for extra bonus points).
3. BYO water bottle, everywhere!
Make sure you carry a water bottle with you when you are out and about. It'll save you getting tempted to spend your pennies on sugary soft drinks.
4. Jazz up your intake with sparkling water.
When you're off to the movies, why not fill up with some fresh sparkling water, even top it up with some lemon or lime juice, or your fruit of choice. It feels to me like a treat.
5. Consider making your own.
Infact, if not already, invest in a Sodastream because I can guarantee, as long as you are not filling up your bubbles with sugary syrups, you WILL be drinking more water, and SO will the kids!
Now, watch this space guys because next week I am returning with some fun sparkling water recipes to inspire us all to up our daily intake. PLUS one lucky THI followers will be winning a Sodastream from their latest range - stay tuned for all exciting details!
*Research: This study was conducted independently through Galaxy Research online among a representative sample of Australians aged 18 years and over. The sample comprises 1,101 respondents, distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. Fieldwork commenced on Wednesday 20 January and was completed on Friday 22 January, 2016.
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