Water is the best fluid to drink when you’re thirsty because it meets your body’s need for hydration without anything extra for your body to process. Water is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

No single formula fits everyone but it is generally agreed that drinking two litres per day is about right for females (and you get a little from your food on top of that).

Water makes up around 60% of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ needs water to work properly. Water gets rid of waste, regulates your temperature, lubricates joints, protects sensitive tissues and much more. If you don’t get enough, it’s hard to stay healthy and for your immune system to work well. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

Some people think that “if one is good, more is better”. This isn’t the case with water. Experts say 2 litres is good for you but that doesn’t mean that 4 litres is better!  Drinking too much water over a short time can reduce the salt concentration in your blood, causing your organs to swell, which can be fatal. Headaches are a sign of both over-hydration and dehydration so that can be a warning sign.

WHAT ABOUT OTHER DRINKS?

Sports drinks (like Gatorade and Powerade) which contain electrolytes are only need by athletes doing very intense training. Water is enough for the normal range of exercise.

So called “Energy Drinks” (like Red Bull, V and Mother) are full of caffeine, stimulants, sugar or other additives and are not formulated to replace electrolytes. Avoid them. They are toxic.

Some tea, coffee and soft drink is okay but watch out for all the sugar or artificial sweeteners that go hand in hand with soft drinks and coffee – you really shouldn’t be putting them into your body. Fruit juice is mostly water and sugar – it’s better to eat the fruit than drink it.

Alcohol – this is something you need to consult your own GP about before making decisions. However, it’s generally agreed that alcohol is okay in moderation for adult women, which means up to 7 standard drinks per week – not all on the same night!

Think of water as LIQUID FOOD.  Here’s a good general guide:

  1. Drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal.
  2. Drink water before, during and after hard exercise.
  3. Drink water if you’re feeling hungry. Thirst is often confused with hunger.
  4. Don’t drink too much water. Two litres a day is about right.
  5. Don’t buy plastic bottles of water – refill and reuse – save the planet!

Remember, by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, so stay hydrated!

 

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