5 ways to increase your water intake

We can’t stress enough the role hydration plays in healthy skin!  Dehydrated skin looks dull, sunken, and any fine lines and wrinkles are magnified ten fold.  Unfortunately, today’s environment doesn’t help in keeping our skin hydrated.  Poor sleep patterns, refined sugars and processed food in our diets, caffeine, alcohol, soda’s, pollution and excessive sun exposure are only a few of the everyday culprits! 

Fortunately, re-hydrating is relatively easy and forming good hydrating habits can be simple to both start and maintain.  Forget the ‘hydrating sports drinks’ (tip: the sugars, colouring and chemicals in them do more harm than the electrolytes they offer help…..) and try these 5 simple tips to getting more aqua in your day.

1.  Buy yourself a cute, eco-friendly, re-useable bottle.

Buying a bottle of water from the servo on the run is a start, but not ideal.  For starters, cheap, one-use plastic bottles have been shown to leach chemicals that work as cancer-causing hormone disruptors. Nasty stuff, avoid where poss! That aluminium, glass or yes, even bamboo, hipster drink bottle (avoid plastic please) may SEEM like an expensive investment but if you take into consideration one Pump bottle can cost around $5, you’ve paid for the re-useable drink bottle in a couple of weeks. Buying yourself a great looking bottle gives you ownership of the decision to increase your water intake, much like buying a new gym outfit motivates you to get your A into G and move more!  

2. Routine is key.

Once you’ve chosen your new aqua vessel, try and remember to fill it up with good quality, clean water at the same times every day.  Perhaps in the morning before you leave for work, fill again at lunch time while you’re preparing your food, and when you get home in the afternoon (before you sit down and settle in!)  This way you’ll get into a good routine and are less likely to forget to refill throughout the day.  If you don’t have easy access to a water purifier or filter, filter jugs for home are a cheap way of filtering your own water without having a purifier installed.  These jugs usually have a removable filter you can remove and replace every 3 or so months and while they are usually plastic, BPA free versions are easy to find.  

3.  Eat your water.

If you really struggle to drink a lot of water throughout your day, perhaps try incorporating some of these high-water-content foods into your daily diet.

In fact, a study conducted in 2009 at the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that eating water-rich fruits and vegetables after a workout rehydrated the body more effectively than water or a sports drink!  The reason being they contain not only the liquid content but also a range of healthy vitamins, minerals and natural sugars and electrolytes.  The following is a list of fruit and veg that are OVER 90% water.  Try incorporating two or three of these into your meals each day, especially post exercise!

  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Sweet peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes

4.  Eliminate the eliminators

One way to stay hydrated is to stay away from some of the things that DEHYDRATE.  This list is in no way exhaustive, but here are a few of the common culprits to limit, especially if you find yourself showing symptoms of dehydration (lethargy, constant tiredness, bad sleep patterns, poor memory, sallow skin etc).

  • Excessive caffeine consumption (espresso, coffee, teas, energy drinks etc).
  • Processed foods (think ‘packets’, cakes, fried foods, baked goods, chips).
  • Processed sugars
  • Soda/soft drink
  • Processed juices
  • Alcohol (if you are out for a drink with friends, instead of sugary cocktails, a sweet white wine or beer, which is a double whammy of both alcohol and a huge amount of sugar, try a white spirit such as gin or vodka….. with soda water, not tonic!)

5. Up the aqua-appeal

This is such a simple tip but one I find extremely effective.  I love water, but, sometimes I just don’t feel like more, well, water.  And/or, it’s just a really really hot day and I feel like something super refreshing.  Adding berries, or citrus fruits, cucumber slices and fresh herbs such as mint or basil into your water and popping it into the fridge is a brilliant way of making your water a little more appealing and exciting!  I also LOVE using sparkling mineral water when I'm super hot and craving a cold glass of white wine.  Sparkling water with half a lemon squeezed in is refreshing and feels like something of a treat, and, it all counts towards your daily water intake.  

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