Fitness First shares five top tips for you to stay happy, hydrated and well this summer.
It’s never too late to re-evaluate your hydration levels and ensure that you are drinking the daily required amount of water.
Staying hydrated is crucial for our health and wellbeing. 60% of an adult human body is made up of water and some of the most vital organs in our body consist of a large ratio of water too. For example, the brain is 70% water, lungs are 90% water, and our blood is made up of more than 80% water. The water in our blood ensures the flow and distribution of proteins, glucose, mineral ions, hormones and hemoglobin, which facilitates oxygen transfer. Water also helps regulate our body temperature, transports nutrients through our cells, moisturizes mucous membranes, and ensures discharge of body waste.
Ana Carolina Corsi Pereira, Fitness Manager at Fitness First says, “water is released out of our bodies every day in the form of sweat, urine and breath. Such types of excretion leak electrolytes that play an important role in contracting muscles, maintaining the body’s hydration levels, and regulating our body’s pH level. Therefore, to ensure our body retains the needed amount of water, drinking an adequate 2 litres of water every day is essential.”
To ensure we’re consuming the recommended 2 litres of water a day, Ana Carolina Corsi Pereira, Fitness Manager at Fitness First shares some simple, yet effective ways on how to stay hydrated, happy, and healthy throughout the hot summer months.
Add flavour to your water
Inject some flavour to your H2O by adding a variety of fruits and fresh veggies to your water. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges are all popular water enhances but there are plenty of other flavours that can satisfy your taste buds. Cucumber and fresh mint are fantastic refreshing flavours – especially in the summer. For something a little sweet, try crushing raspberries or watermelon, or adding strawberry slices.
Change it up with coconut water
Coconut water contains a high amount of potassium, which is excellent for hydration and cell recovery, post-exercise. It also contains electrolytes, including magnesium, sodium and phosphorous and is lower in sugar than most sports drinks, making it a great alternative for a hydrating beverage before, during or after medium – intensity exercise.
- : Coconut water is lower in sodium than most sports drinks, so if you are planning on carrying out high-intensity or prolonged exercise, make sure you get some additional sodium from another fluid or snack.
Eat water-rich food
A sneaky yet effective way to ensure the daily intake of recommended water is consuming water-rich foods. Add fruits and vegetables with high water content to your daily diet. Some great options include cucumber (96% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water) and grapefruit (91% water).
Hydrate before, during and after exercise
Water intake is critical. It helps regulate body temperature, lubricates the joints, and transports nutrients to ensure the body has enough energy. Dehydration can cause the body to feel more tired during exercise and can weaken your mental function, which is why it is so important to key hydrated before, during and after exercise.
There are several factors to consider including heat, humidity, sweat rate and length of time of activity, however the below is a good guideline to follow on how much water you should be consuming:
- 17-20 ounces of water, two – three hours prior to exercise
- 8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before exercise or during your warm-up
- 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during exercise
- 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes after exercise
Keep a jug or water bottle next to you
When we are busy at work it can make it extremely difficult to maintain the habit of drinking water throughout the day. Keeping a jug and glass by your desk or carrying a 500ml water bottle in your bag as you travel is a great reminder to stay hydrated and ensure you are consuming the recommended daily intake of water.
Kick start the day with herbal tea
Herbal tea is an excellent way to start the day. You can enjoy it warm or cold and they come with a range of delicious flavours including floral, spicy, and sweet. Herbal teas are extremely high in antioxidants which help reduce oxidative stress and prevent chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In simple words, herbal tea is delicious, flavoured water with a whole host of extra healthy benefits.
Choose sparkling or mineral water over a soda
If you are someone who likes a fizzy drink break during work or simply enjoys sipping on a soda, try and get into the habit of replacing these drink choices with refreshing sparkling or mineral water. As many of us are already aware, fizzy drinks contain an excessive amount of added sugar which transforms to fat deposits in the liver, causing adverse effects on our overall health. A simple lifestyle choice of drinking water instead of sugary soda drinks can decrease the chances of heart diseases and help weight loss.