I hear from clients all the time, they know they should drink more water but they either don’t like plain water or they forget to. I understand, I’m a bit rubbish at remembering to drink water until I’m suddenly super thirsty!
Even mild dehydration can contribute to:
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Poor concentration
- Poor skin health
- An increased risk of urinary tract infections
- An increased risk of kidney stones
How much water you need varies depending on your gender (men generally need more), your age and your activity levels. You also need more water in hot and humid weather, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you eat a lot of salty or spicy foods, you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages (as you lose more water through urination), or you’ve had an infection or fever.
Scientists debate how much water we need, but on average 2 litres a day is a fairly good place to start, with around 1.5 litres for an inactive elderly person, and 3 litres for an active young man.
We achieve around 20% of our water requirements from food intake, this can be increased by focusing on foods with a high water content such as cucumber, melon, soups and smoothies. All fruits and vegetables contain some levels of water.
Below are a few ideas on how to flavour water for those of you who get bored with plain water and want to liven it up a bit. Happy hydration!
Cold Brew Tea Bags
These work really nicely to flavour water. I use one bag for the day and keep topping the glass up with water to make them last. They need a few minutes to ‘brew’ and allow the flavours to develop and can make your water a funny colour but they are super refreshing. Tea Pigs do 3 lovely flavours; Peach & Mango, Cucumber & Apple, and Lychee & Rose. Twinnings also do a range of cold infusions.
Add A Slice
Slice some fresh lemon or lime slices and add to a glass, fresh ginger root or mint leaves are also a nice addition.
Berry ice cubes – next time you get a pack of berries, pop a few in an ice cube tray, pour water over and freeze. Then add a cube or two to a glass.
For those of you that like squash – the bad news is there aren’t many quality squash drinks around. They rely heavily on sugar or artificial sweeteners. Now and again they may be ok but I wouldn’t recommend them for daily use. I have recently come across a company called Fount Drinks who do a lovely range of plant based drinks. Each blend is a selection of fruit, botanicals, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. You add a few drops to a glass of water for flavour and health benefits! Win Win! Their flavours include; Raspberry & Green Tea, Apple & Elderflower, Ginger & Lemon, and Red Berries & Hibiscus. Each bottle does around 25 servings. *I would urge caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as many of them contain adaptogenic herbs which may not be suitable. Discuss with your practitioner before trying.
Naturally when it’s cold you might not feel like a cold glass of water which is where herbal teas come into their own. My favourite brands are Pukka, Clipper, Dragonfly and Tick Tock. My personal favourite teas are Pukka Tulsi Tea and Dragonfly Earl Grey Rooboish.
This company provide fruit flavoured sparkling water, using up old wonky fruit that wouldn’t make it to the supermarkets and reducing food waste. Clever! It’s also super low in sugar so happy to use these instead of squash or a can of fizzy pop! Dash drinks come in lots of flavours including peach, raspberry, blackcurrant, lemon and cucumber.
These have the bonus of providing hydration with live bacteria to benefit your gut flora. Kefir and kombucha are good choices just watch out for the sugar content. I really like Pure Earth water kefir as it’s low in sugar and tastes yummy.
Get yourself a funky water bottle or flask to keep with you. Much better for the environment than buying plastic bottles, and easier to get into the habit of drinking more when you routinely fill one up and take it with you. S’Well do good stainless steel water bottles in a variety of funky patterns, as well as flasks and all manner of other liquid vessels.