Friday January 13, 2017
Do You Drink Enough Water?
We at London Doctors Clinic know that drinking water is crucial for our continued health, yet it is estimated that about two thirds of people don’t take in the recommended daily amount. And that’s understandable, because in this busy and fast paced world we live in, pausing to drink more water (and frequently running to the toilet as a result) is a daunting undertaking. But ignoring water throughout the day could be more damaging than you think, so it’s important that we put a decent effort into ensuring we stay hydrated!
Why Do I Need To Drink Water?
Our bodies are composed mostly of water – about 60% -70% of our weight is water, in fact. All of the cells in our body need water to function correctly to keep us healthy and alive.
Water is required to cushion and lubricate our joints, protect our brain and other internal tissues, regulate our body temperatures, and remove waste from our bodies through urination, bowel movements, and perspiration, to name just a few.
When you don’t have enough water, dehydration comes out to play. When you’re dehydrated you’ll experience dry mouth, low blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, dry skin, and worst of all, fatigue. And when dehydration is chronic, it can put you at increased risk of certain common medical conditions, such as cystitis (otherwise known as urinary tract infections).
How Much Water Do I Need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function at its best, you must replace its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water (yes, foods count too!). It’s challenging to determine how much water each person needs, as people’s lifestyles and circumstances vary so much. But it is generally accepted that women ideally need about 2-2.5 litres per day, and men benefit from taking in about 2.5-3 litres of water per day.
You may need more than this if you:
- Work out daily, or are an active person
- Live in a warm climate
- Are unwell
- Are a pregnant or nursing mother
- If you need to focus or concentrate especially hard
- If you have medical conditions such as recurrent headaches, joint aches and pain, low mood
Don't forget: the more you exercise, the more you sweat, the more water you need to drink!
How To Include More Water In Your Diet
Upping your water intake may well be easier than you think! Here are some great ways to trick yourself into sneaking more water into your day:
1. Keep a small bottle of water with you throughout the day
Often the problem is that we don’t have access to water, so doing this means that you can train yourself to sip from your bottle no matter where you are or what you’re doing
2. Add natural flavour to your water
Because, lets face it, plain old water can be boring! Try lemon, lime or cucumber slices to add a subtle flavour. A couple of mint leaves can give your beverage a much needed boost, and if you’re really in a bind, a small drop of sugar free squash is good too!
3. Eat water
You can improve your water intake without even noticing it by choosing foods that are high in water content. Options include most fruits and vegetables, soups or stews
You don't have to just drink water - you can eat it too, in soups and stews!
4. Keep it where you can see it!
Out of sight, out of mind, and this is a bad thing when you’re trying to get more water. Try keeping a pitcher or bottle of water on your kitchen counter, your desk, or in the cup holder in your car
5. Commit to developing a habit to drink a glass of water
Aim to drink water before or after some of your most common everyday tasks e.g take a drink before going to the bathroom, or after having a meal. If you’re having trouble reminding yourself you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
6. Get an app!
It seems likes there’s an app for everything these days, but a water app may be particularly useful to you on your journey to better hydration. Check out some of the most popular ones – Waterlogged, Carbodroid, or Drink Water reminder. These apps can help to remind you to drink water, track your progress and celebrate your success with you!
Remember to stay hydrated at work, by having water bottles or dispensers placed conveniently around the office
Committing to drinking more water is a achievable goal, that most of us should be tackling in 2017. We hope that these tips will get you started on your way to a healthier and happier future! If you need any more information about drinking water, why not book an affordable private GP appointment at any of our eight London clinics. And for any other GP services you require, we're always here. Good luck!
By Melissa Dillon