Are you hydrated?
Your personal real time answer is check colour of urine. Excluding the first bathroom visit, the rest of the day urine should be a pale yellow/champagne colour – not aiming for clear as you could be over working your kidneys. Darker than pale yellow could indicate you need to have a glass of fluid when you leave the bathroom.
Of course no two days will be the same either. Exercise, Summer months, excess salt will mean you’ll need to drink a bit more.
20-30% of our water needs come from fruit, soup, vegetables so eating these daily will also help with hydration.
Hydration can reduce the likelihood of:
- Urinary tract infections
And remember if you feel thirsty you’re already staring to become dehydrated. Don’t wait for the common dehydration signs; dry mouth, urinary tract infections, headaches.
Day 1 of our 30 day challenge is to drink one additional glass of water today. Try it, see if you notice the benefits and let us know using #bitesizenutrition30:
- Clearer skin
- Improved mental focus
- Less headache
- Better physical performance
It’s suggested we should drink 6-8 glasses of fluid per day, or Google might suggest 1.5 – 2.0L day but as no two people are the same and no two days are the same does this still apply to you?
Fluid can include caffeinated drinks but try to keep these to a minimum, and limit fruit juice to less than 150mls per day due to the sugar content.
If water doesn’t float your boat you could try:
- Sparking water
- Lemon juice/slice lemon water
- Frozen berries in ice-cubes added to water
- 20% fruit juice & 80% water
- Rooibos/Red Bush tea
- Fruit/herb tea (caution some contain licorice which may increase blood pressure)
Improve your mental & physical performance
Coffee and tea count towards your fluid intake. They won’t necessarily dehydrate you but they may make you visit the bathroom more often that you’d like.
Caffeine is generally the ingredient of choice here – but it can be overstimulating and one small 250ml can could have the same caffeine content as a mug of coffee. Energy drinks are often high in sugar.
If you find there’s a pattern where your energy is low at the same time each day, instead of the energy drink or caffeine fix could you fix the cause (lack sleep, sufficient protein in the meal before, anaemia, thyroid function, dehydration) rather than keep adding in the caffeine which you’ll more than likely build up a tolerance to and over time you’ll need a bit more caffeine for the same effect.
Research identified that sports drinks are over consumed – they really only need to be drunk when exercise goes on for longer than 1.5 hours per exercise session. Sports drinks are often packed full of sugar.
If you think you’re hungry, could you be dehydrated? Try a small glass of water.
Squash and flavoured drinks
No added sugar squash can help to make water more appealing, and also have a glance at the label of flavoured waters as these often have lots of added sugar. If you see “sugar or glucose” in the list of ingredients that means it’s been added.
Water or milk are the preferred drink for children, trying to reduce the amount of carbonated drinks and fruit juices which can lead to weight gain and tooth decay.
Don’t forget to let us know what you think #bitesizenutrition30
If you’d like to find out more tips to improve your hydration check out our webinars and podcasts. If you’re new to podcasts you can listen to Bitesize Nutrition free without registration on your phone or PC by clicking on the podcast link in this paragraph or listen on iTunes & Spotify.
- The information in this article is for educational purposes and should not replace medical advice.
- The information is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
- If you have a diagnosed medical condition, you should consult a doctor before making any major changes to your diet, and;
- Some supplements may interact with medications and you should check with your GP before commencing any supplement programme.