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Nutrition and Hydration Week 2019

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Strawberry smoothie

Its Nutrition and Hydration Week! Not only eating a healthy balanced diet is important, but also fluids play a key role on your day to day performance.

Water makes up about 60-70% of your body to keep you functioning. We lose water through sweat, dehydration and going to the toilet and the only way to replace these stores is to drink more fluids.

Water prevents constipation, flushes out toxins, helps alertness and concentration, improves energy levels, keeps us fuller for longer, builds our immune system, boost our brain function, regulates all our internal systems, prevents dry skin and most of all our cells within the human body would die without water. None of the essential physical functions such as breathing, digestion or muscle movement could take place without water.

So how much water should we be aiming for?

Food provides about 20% of your fluid intake and The Eatwell Guide suggests about 6-8 glasses of fluid per day

What types of fluids can I drink?

Drinking water is the best as it contains no sugar & no calories

Milk is a good source of calcium and other nutrients – opt for semi-skimmed or fortified unsweetened dairy free milk

Tea or coffee, however watch out for the caffeine intake which can make you produce more urine

Herbal teas

Fruit juices and smoothies – a 150ml glass counts towards one of your 5aday although contain sugar hence calories

Fruit and vegetables contain water and if you make soups and stews water is added during cooking

Fizzy drinks, squashes, flavoured water and juice based drinks contain a lot of added sugar which adds calories and can also damage teeth if consumed frequently so try and reduce consumption of these

Tips to increase your fluid intake

Always carry a bottle of water with you and top up

Opt for herbal teas

Make your own smoothies and juices and dilute with water

Opt for no added sugar squash

Sip water throughout the day

Tune in and check whether you are thirsty instead of hungry

When you go to the toilet make sure your urine is pale/clear if it is dark yellow you may need to drink more water

Opt for hot drinks and add half milk and half water

Here are some of my favourite drink recipes:

Hot chocolate

1 tbs cocoa powder

¼ cup of semi skimmed or dairy free milk

¾ cup of water

1 tsp honey

Optional-cinnamon powder/vanilla/orange essence

In a pan on low heat, add all the ingredients and whisk until warm

Mint and lemon tea

Hot water, fresh mint leaves and lemon slices

Berry smoothie

Handful of frozen berries

3/4 cup of water

1 banana

1-2 tbs of natural yoghurt

Whizz all ingredients in a blender

Useful link

The National Health Service


Blog written by

Gopika Papiah (nutritionist)