The amount of water in the adult human body ranges from 50-75%. The percentage of water contained in your cells depends on your hydration level. People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water.
Mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired before thirst kicks in, typically around 1% dehydration. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dull hair, dry skin and scalp, chapped lips, and lowered immunity.
In fact, the average healthy adult is robbed of approximately four pints of water per day through a series of evaporation type activities. These are through breathing, through the humidifying of dry air (which is why your exhaled breath appears white), and because the body has to work harder to heat up its core temperature. This extra effort requires more water to stay properly hydrated. Add more depending on the climate you live in, if your health is poor, of if you’re especially active during winter.
So it’s clear that water is vital to our health and existence. To ensure you’re getting enough water, here’s 10 easy ways to incorporate more water into your day
1. Start Your Day with Water
You’re doing your body a service if you start every morning with a large glass of water. After 8 or more hours of fasting, water will energize and help flush out your organs. If you really want a morning kick (one that’s way more effective on the inside than coffee) try a glass of lukewarm water with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon to get you started. The lemon juice and cayenne pepper will help detox your body, boost your immunity, and destroying bad bacteria in your digestive system.
2. Forget the Coffee
Most of us need a morning coffee to get started in the early hours. However, caffeine, a diuretic, actually robs the body of what little water it has left after a long night of slumber. And you can imagine what coffee’s effect is if you have 2 or 3 cups. So do yourself a favour and drink a litre of water between each coffee or switch to herbal tea.
3. Add Extra Taste to Plain Old Water
Many people don’t like water because “it has no taste!” Well luckily you can fix that problem fairly easy. Add some fresh and healthy flavour to your bland water with a quick squeeze of a lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange. Or add some thinly sliced ginger, lemon rind, or cucumber. You can even add frozen berries for some zip (just make sure they have no sugar added).
4. Seeing is Reminding
I understand that you can get so busy during a day that you just forget to drink any water. However, if you’re at home at constantly seeing to your little ones needs or if you’re at work, you can keep a large refillable bottle at your desk to take sips as you work. There is something to the power of seeing the bottle—and drinking from the bottle. You’ll likely even get into the habit of going to the water cooler for a quick break to stretch your legs and refill.
5. Warm and Hydrate with Herbal Tea
What’s that you say—your workplace is like an igloo? Well then easy fix, just swap regular water for herbal teas (just don’t add any sugar). You can find an herbal tea in almost any flavour (with no calories) to keep you hydrated and warm all day long.
6. Attach a Water Bottle to Your Hip
Well not literally, but carrying a refillable water bottle with you, when you do errands, go for walks, take a yoga class, play with the children, and even go to the cinema will help solidify a healthy habit and make it part of your regular routine. I make a habit to dilute other drinks. Makes sense, when most fruit juices are too sweet anyhow. Start with a mix of half a glass of juice mixed with half a glass of water. You’ll be using less and less juice as time passes.
7. Drink Water Before You Eat
This healthy habit is a dual purpose. When you make a point to drink water prior to meals you’re not only ensuring proper hydration; you’re also filling yourself up so you won’t eat as much or curb to binge eating. The brain sends the same signals for thirst as hunger, so often we mistake hunger for thirst and overeat as a result.
9. Drink Water Socially
If you’re at a party or out for dinner, make a habit of alternating every glass of wine or cocktail with a large glass of water. This is a handy way to decrease the rate of alcohol absorption so you don’t end up with a hangover (which is a common culprit of dehydration). And to hydrate while you drink, opt to use sparkling water as your mixer.
10. Consume Foods with Hydration Benefits
Do you know what foods like cucumber, watermelon, grapes, celery, oranges, and tomatoes have in common? They are all water rich foods that contribute nourishment and hydration to your diet. This is why a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie—blended with fresh fruits, mixed greens, low fat yogurt, and water makes a great breakfast.
Go ahead and enjoy adding more water to your days – Trust me, you’ll feel so much better for it.