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
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:
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
Handful of frozen berries
3/4 cup of water
1-2 tbs of natural yoghurt
Whizz all ingredients in a blender
Blog written by
Gopika Papiah (nutritionist)