Healthy Eating Week – Day 3

Day 3: Stay Hydrated

Why it's important to drink plenty of water

Hydration is important because the body is comprised of mostly water, it is essential for survival. Water is critical to the balance of all the body’s systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles. You are constantly losing water through your skin when you sweat, your lungs when you breathe and when you go to the bathroom, so it is important to drink plenty throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

The exact amount of water per day depends on you, although it is advised to drink between 2-3 litres per day. However, your body’s daily fluid requirements can vary from day-to-day. It is also very easy to become dehydrated without realising – by the time you are thirsty your body is already dehydrated.

What are the benefits

  • Relieves headaches and migraines            
  • Helps with digestion
  • Aids fat loss
  • Flushed out toxins
  • Promotes healthy glowing skin
  • Helps energise muscles

What counts towards the 2 litres per day

It is recommended that you have 2 litres of water every day, in addition to any water provided by food. The exact amount of fluid you need will depend on many factors including age, activity levels and the weather.

The following are all healthier drink options:

  • water (this is the best option for a regular drink);
  • low-fat milk;
  • unsweetened beverages (e.g. tea, coffee, sugar-free drinks).
  • 100% fruit/vegetable juices and smoothies should be limited to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day as they contain sugars. Drinks that contain sugars (e.g. soft drinks, sweetened milk drinks, energy and sports drinks) contribute to a high-calorie intake and increase the risk of tooth decay if consumed regularly.

Tips for staying hydrated

  • Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.
  • Make sure unsweetened drinks, such as water, tea and coffee, are available in meetings at work.
  • Try to have an unsweetened drink with each meal.
  • When taking part in physical activity or active travel make sure you stay hydrated.

Mix it up

Try switching your carbonated drinks to infused water and try having 5 different flavours per week! 

Here are my top 5 ideas to get you started

  • Lemon & Lime
  • Strawberry, Lemon & Basil
  • Raspberries and Strawberries
  • Watermelon & Mint
  • Tangerine & Strawberries 

In terms of how much to add etc, it all depends on how much you are making and also depends on the individuals taste and likes! Don’t be too generous with mint leaves and basil as they can have quite a strong taste – you are better off adding a couple of leaves and then increasing amounts once you have tasted it!

To get the best flavour out of the fruits and herbs, I recommend leaving them to infuse for approximately 2-4 hours in the fridge before drinking them. The longer you leave them, the stronger the flavour!