Are you feeling irritable, moody, tired? Do you have a headache, or dry skin? - if your answer is yes or this sounds like you ... sometimes. Then our next question is, have you had enough water today? - well this is your cue to have a BIG glass of water. Because about 60% of us is made up of water, we’re pretty much walking cucumbers. And unlike camels we can’t store water, so that means we need to stay hydrated around the clock so our bodys can function properly. Water is involved in so many important bodily functions like thermoregulation - your body temp, cell structure, blood fluidity, digestion, waste removal and joint function! - ahh that explains why we can't live without water for longer than 72hours and is why water is classed as an essential nutrient.
You probably already understand the importance of water, but scientific studies have shown and highlighted its importance with results that show that even a 1% decrease in body water can negatively affect cognitive function and mood. They also show that Australians on average are drinking 1.29L of water per day, the Australian dietary guidelines recommended we should be drinking 2.6L of water a day. This suggests that most of us may be living in a state of dehydration, meaning our bodies could be performing better! And yes 2.6L does sound like a small swimming pool but we assure there are many ways to get the job done!
It's especially important in these summer months, as we can become easily dehydrated because we tend to be outdoors in hot temperatures - moving more, indulging in salty food, and having a few alcoholic beverages. This leads to sweating, increased breathing, and then dehydration. Because we are so distracted - having fun, we usually don't realise we haven’t had enough water until our body starts to really tell us (off) with headaches, tiredness, dry months and yellow urine. Severe dehydration may lead to heat injury like heat stroke and exhaustion, which us Aussies need to look out for whilst ensuring our stifling hot summer days. Because no one wants to end their beautiful summers day on that note!
How do you avoid dehydration? Here's a few simple tips to help you achieve your goal of 2.6L a day! - you got this!
1) Leaving the house? Similar to winter when your mum says “don't forget your jumper” , in summer you’re not going anywhere without your drink bottle! This means you have water on the go, to sip on whilst you’re out and about.
2) Set cues that will eventually become a habit: wake up water, meal time water, snack water, bed water. - You get the gist?
3) 2.6L?! But it's tasteless and boring? Spruce it up, add a wedge of lemon or lime, make a healthy ice tea with a fruity tea bag and a handful of ice, try coconut water - look for ones with low sugar or grab soda water and mint - close enough to a mojito.
4) Water doesn't have to be in its liquid form, we get a lot of water from our food. Summery fruit and veg are perfect sources of water and nutrition. So slice up watermelon, cumber, tomatoes, oranges and apples.
5)Whilst enjoying your summer alcoholic beverages, have a glass of water in between each drink to avoid dehydration.