If you live in Queensland, Australia you would know that the last few weeks have been HOT!! It’s Summer time and most of us are out in the sunshine enjoying the outdoors. Whether your inside or outside doing physical activity or not, in this heat it is important to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water. It’s easy to not drink enough water in the day so I wanted to give you some tips and tricks to add some flavour to the sometimes boring liquid that is water.
Why do we need water?
All throughout your body, in and around cells biochemical reactions are taking place in water. 50-60% of your body’s weight is composed of water but water is an essential nutrient because it is required in amounts that exceed the body’s ability to produce it. Processes such as digestion, absorption, transportation, dissolving nutrients and elimination of waste products would not occur without water.
Depending on where you are at in your life stage, your environmental conditions, physical activity and individual metabolism your water requirements vary and the amount is measured as an Adequate Intake (AI) in the table below.
Children & Adolescents
|Women 19-70+ years: 2.1L/day
Men 19-70+ years: 2.6L/day
|1-3 years: 1L/day
4-8 years: 1.2L/day
9-13 years: 1.4-1.6L/day
14-18 years: 1.6-1.9L/day
|0-6 months: 0.7 L/day (from breast milk or formula)
7-12 months: 0.8 L/day (from breast milk, formula, food, plain water and other beverages, including 0.6 L as fluids
Your body also gets roughly 20% of your fluid requirements from food. Other liquids such as milk and juice also supply the body with water. However water is still your best option because it is energy free, inexpensive and readily available.
During physical activity your water requirements increase due to fluid loss through sweat. Depending on the level of activity and the amount of fluid loss through sweat an estimate of 400-600 mL is required for every 30 mins of exercise. So to keep hydrated drink some water before, during and after physical activity.
Tips to help you drink more water
- Drink a glass of water when you first wake up.
- Carry a water bottle around with you. This will not only help to remind you to drink water but also water is always near by to drink.
- Know the amount of water the water bottle holds. This way you know how many bottles a day you need to drink to meet your requirements.
- Keep a water bottle at work on your desk. This way it’s right in-front of you reminding you to drink.
- Drink water before each meal and with snacks.
- Flavour your water. By adding fruit to your water you will make it taste a little bit more exciting and encourage you to drink more.
Add some Flavour!!!
Below are some suggestions of what you could add to your water for that added flavour boost!!
- Lemon juice and slices
- Lime juice and slices
- Mint leaves
- Orange slices
- Cucumber slices
- Ginger slices
- 1/4 Lemon
- 1/2 Lime
- Mint Stems
Squeeze the lemon and lime into a glass or water bottle. Lightly crush the mint leave and add to the glass. Fill with water and Enjoy.
- 6-7 Raspberries
- 1/2 Lime
- Mint Stems
Slightly mashed the raspberries and mint leaves in a bottle or glass. Squeeze the lime and add to the bottle. Top with water and enjoy!
Note: you can refill the bottle or glass again with water once you have finished it. The flavour wont be as strong but it will still add a slight flavour to the water.
Have fun mixing fruits together to see what flavours you get.
Mayo Clinic 2014, Nutrition and healthy eating, viewed 31 January 2017, <http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256?pg=2>.
NHMRC 2014, Water, viewed 31 January 2017, <https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/water>.