Most of us know that staying hydrated throughout the day is important yet many of us struggle to swallow the recommended amount of eight 150ml glasses – or 1.2 litres – of fluid a day.*
If you find plain water boring, or simply forget to drink enough, follow these top tips to meet your daily requirements.
1. Ice and a slice
When you consider that around two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body is made up of water and that most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells require water, it’s obvious why staying hydrated is so vital. The Department of Health recommends that the body needs 1.2 litres of fluids a day (which is equivalent to six 200ml or eight 150ml glasses) to work properly and to avoid dehydration.
Water is the healthiest choice to quench your thirst at any time but although it may have no calories or sugars that can damage teeth, water also lacks flavour. If you don't like the taste of plain water, try drinking sparkling or carbonated versions or adding a slice of lemon or lime or a dash of fresh fruit juice to your glass.
2. Find an alternative
The good news is that you don’t have to stick exclusively to water as all non-alcoholic drinks count towards your daily intake. Apart from water, milk, which is rich in calcium, and fruit juices, which contain vitamins, are the healthiest options. Anything else, including fizzy, caffeinated, sports and energy drinks and squash, should be limited as they are often loaded with sugar and/or artificial sweeteners and contain few nutrients.
3. Forget me not
You don’t tend to go an entire day without remembering to have lunch, attend meetings or pick up your kids from school so why should drinking be any different? If you forget to drink enough during the day, try setting the alarm on your mobile phone so it goes off every hour from the time you start work until the time you leave and aim to drink a glass of water (or other drink) between alarm calls.
4. Keep it handy
When your phone starts buzzing and you’re far from a tap or a shop, in the middle of a discussion or dashing to an appointment, you’re unlikely to drop everything and fill up your glass. So be strategic and plan ahead by making sure you always have a jug of water on your desk or a refillable water bottle in your bag and remember to top them up before they run out. You’re far more likely to meet your target if you have some fluid within easy reach.
5. Put the kettle on
Tea and coffee can count towards your eight glasses (or mugs or cups) a day but they both contain caffeine, which is a stimulant that can affect people in different ways. So while it’s fine to drink them as part of a balanced diet, it's important that tea, coffee or other drinks containing caffeine are not your only source of fluid. So the next time someone offers to make you a cuppa, try a herbal tea instead as it contains zero caffeine.
Do you manage the recommended amount of water everyday? Share your tips below...