In my 25 years in the health and wellness industry, I’ve heard lots of different opinions on how much water to drink – everything from 2-3 litres/day to 0.33333 x your bodyweight in pounds (lbs). So, what’s the final call?
While I’m sure tens of thousands of hours of research go into scientific studies, human beings don’t live their life according to research done in a lab. We’re emotional, our lives are led differently and we might be told one thing, and often find ourselves doing the opposite. So whilst most people already know that water is by far the healthiest liquid to drink – that it’s great for weight loss, mental clarity and overall health and wellbeing – most people either don’t pay attention to their consumption or actively choose drinks that are more exciting, tasty and easy to consume.
So, we’ve got a few ways to make sure you’re drinking enough water for you.
And before you read the specifics and variables below, if you’re after the quick fix, blanket answer, here it is: 2 litres of pure water each day + 1 litre for every hour of exercise is ideal for most adults.
Drink to Thirst
The No.1 Health and Fitness tip I can (ever) give anyone is to get in tune with your body. When you listen (and respond) to its many signs you have amazing physical and mental energy; when your body’s tired, take a nap, when it’s hungry, feed it some nutrients, so when it’s thirsty, make sure it’s hydrated with the closest thing to water you can stomach (more to come on that).
Eat your water
If drinking 2-3 litres/day just doesn’t seem feasible, try eating these wholefoods. They have added benefits of super healthy, gut-fit fibre and thousands of phytonutrients. #TripleThreat.
Cucumber – 96% water
Celery & Lettuce 95% water
Tomatoes & Capsicum – 94% water
Asparagus & Watermelon – 93% water
Increase your absorption
A common complaint, particularly from those over 40, is that drinking 2 litres or more a day results in having to constantly go to the toilet, which for some can be inconvenient or embarrassing. This is because the pure cold water travels quickly from the mouth to the stomach to the bladder and then to the toilet. In order to significantly increase your absorption of water, try adding a tiny bit of either pink Himalayan salt or grey Celtic sea salt to your glass or bottle. These salts have dozens of micro-nutrients, and just like a saline drip (which doctors prescribe when we’re severely dehydrated), you will absorb MUCH more fluid into your cells, and even more if your water is at room/body temperature.
Note: If you can taste the salt you’ve added too much.
Dress it up
Us humans tend to stick to what we like. So rather than following the rule book, go with your taste buds. For me that’s a squeeze of fresh lime in my sparkling water (crazy I know), for my dad it’s a splash of ginger beer cordial – “But cordial has too much sugar!”, I hear you all saying. While it’s true that cordial is essentially liquid sugar, if 5mls in a large glass of water is the difference between drinking that glass or not, then that 5mls of your favourite flavour is totally worth it! Experiment around and see what flavours, fruits, herbs or vegetables get you excited about drinking, and never be bored again! Tip: Cucumber & mint are a popular combo, or try our 12WBT Citrus, Cucumber and Watermelon combo.
Peppermint or herbal tea is a great choice if you need to fill the time between dinner and bed. If you’re not a tea fan, a more modern choice is Kombucha. This low-sugar, low-calorie natural soda comes in dozens of different flavours, and my recent personal favourite is ‘Cherry Plum’. I love it because it fills a gap and prevents overeating late at night, which BTW is the No.1 way Australians gain weight. It also tastes amazing and populates my gut with good probiotics.
Best time to drink
- A Big glass as soon as you wake up. Yes…before your morning coffee.
- 15-30 mins before each meal or snack. This will lubricate your digestive system and help to prevent overeating.
- Before, during and after exercise, especially the sweaty kind.
So stay on top of your hydration with these 6 tips and you’ll be getting your required litres before you know it!
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