4 simple ways to stay hydrated for more energy, vitality and a sharper brain
Nutrition and Hydration Week is an annual event that takes place in March. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and hydration and to help people make healthier food and drink choices. It’s one thing to KNOW that you should be hydrated but actually understanding WHY can be the difference between taking action and not and so in this blog we are going to focus on hydration specifically.
What exactly does it mean to be ‘hydrated’?
Hydration refers to the process of supplying or replenishing water to the body, especially to compensate for fluid loss due to sweating, urination, or other causes. To be hydrated means to have and maintain adequate levels of water in the body. The opposite of hydration is of course dehydration. Dehydration occurs when water is removed from the body and or when there is an inadequate supply of water coming back in.
Even mild dehydration can cause a number of symptoms and health problems, including feelings of fatigue, weakness, and sluggishness, headaches, migraines, or dizziness, constipation, dry skin, heat stroke, and even confusion and impaired cognitive function.
Why is it so important to be hydrated?
Hydration is essential for human health. Staying hydrated helps to regulate body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, and to remove waste from the body. It is also important for optimal brain function and cognition, cushioning the joints and spinal cord, fighting infections and viruses, proper function of your organs, maintaining proper metabolism, proper nerve impulse function.
More than 60% of the human body is water and we must consume it every day in order to survive.
But how much water is enough? I’m sure you’ve heard the common recommendation of 8 glasses (about 250ml each) a day, but in reality, it’s a little more complicated than that. Different people need different amounts of water depending on various factors such as body composition, size and height, activity level, climate, health status, consumption of foods and drinks that dehydrate the body such as alcohol, sugar and caffeine - there are many factors that come into play.
However, a good general rule of thumb is to consume around 2 to 3 litres of water each day to stay hydrated. This can come from a mix of drinking water and water-containing foods. There are many ways to stay hydrated, which you will see below.
So how do you know if you are hydrated?
A simple way to know your level of hydration is to pay attention to the colour of your urine, which should be a pale straw colour at all times with the exception of your first urination of the day which will be darker as you won’t have had any water since the previous day.
If your urine is dark yellow with a strong odour, then you are dehydrated. The darker and stronger it is, the more dehydrated you are and you should increase your water intake. Some people make the mistake of gulping down an entire litre in one go to make up for the lack of water previously, however it’s unlikely that your cells can properly absorb a large influx of water in one go, so the best approach for replenishing is to drink a glass of water and then to continue sipping it at regular intervals for the rest of the day.
On the flip side of this, if your urine is completely clear, you are likely drinking too much water. It’s important to find your own sweet spot where you are consistently seeing a pale straw colour. This sweet spot will vary on certain days depending on things like climate, activity levels and health status, for example if you are fighting an infection or if you are hungover, your cells will require more water.
4 simple ways to stay hydrated
1) Drinking water
Drinking plain water is the most effective and straightforward way to hydrate the body and you can add in some or all of the tips below to further enhance your quest for daily hydration. Spruce up plain water by squeezing in some fresh lemon and or lime juice, crushing some raspberries and mint leaves into it. Invest in a decent sized, reusable glass or stainless steel water bottle that you can keep with you at all times, including at your desk or work area, and fill up as and when.
2) Water-containing foods
There are many foods that contain water and can contribute to hydration:
Fruits - watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, and citrus fruits. Chop into salads, add to natural yoghurt, or have a handful after lunch or dinner for ‘dessert’.
Vegetables - lettuce, cucumber, spinach, courgette, and celery. Have a salad once at least once a day, either as a main meal or a side.
Soups or broths - preferably homemade.
3) Herbal teas
Herbal teas such as chamomile, mint and green tea are a source of hydration (water) as well as having other benefits related to the herb/s involved. Herbal teas are a great way to consume hot drinks without the dehydrated effects of regular black tea and coffee. If you love your black tea or coffees, you could enjoy 1-2 cups in the morning then switch to herbal teas for the rest of the day. Pukka Teas have a really great range of herbal blends to choose from.
4) A daily cold-pressed juice
JUNIUS’s award winning, cold-pressed drinks are a great way to add to your daily hydration needs whilst ALSO supplying your body with a significant dose of phytonutrients and other hero ingredients. All of our 7 pillars provide hydration but we will give a special mention to our SPA range for its particularly hydrating ingredients such as celery, lemon and lime juice, aloe vera, apple, spinach, kale and parsley. Our POW and REV ranges include electrolyte (naturally hydrating) - rich coconut water. We offer a subscription service, allowing you to keep a constant supply of hydrating JUNIUS juices and shots from the entire range in our Starter (mixed) Box or one or more pillars of your choice. Our mixed box subscription is great because you can benefit from the full spectrum of all the nutrients in every one of our nutritionally designed award-winning juices and shots.
We hope you’ve found this blog informative, helpful and practical. Feel free to send us a message over on Instagram @wearejunius or drop us an email, we love hearing from you!