Written by Samantha Mainland. B.Nat, BMedsMgmentProfHonsCM
The warm weather is coming to an end (for most!), and the cooler months can often be an unsuspecting time for dehydration. Whilst summer often comes with a heightened thirst sensation, winter has the opposite effect, and many can simply ‘forget’ to drink water. Winter is also a time for numerous hot drinks, with the most common ones – green tea, black tea and coffee – being dehydrating due to their diuretic properties.
We have 8 great ways to stay hydrated, without trying!
1 – Soup!
The cooler months are fantastic for soups. Not only are they warming for the soul, but they are full of liquids! Home-cooked soups are the best and can often be quite easy to make, with plenty of leftovers. Soup is great as a snack, or when done right, is a great hearty meal.
2 – Vegetables!
Eat your vegetables. Most of them contain a high percentage of water. Raw vegetables are higher in water (hasn’t leaked out in cooking), however warm vegetables may be more appealing. Regardless, vegetables are encouraged, either way! Add more celery, cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes to your recipes.
3 – Try some coconut water
Coconut water is packed with electrolytes, and electrolytes are key in your body’s ability to hold onto water, rather then letting it pass through. If you reach a state of ‘dehydration’ electrolytes, maybe from coconut water, can help you get back to a hydrated status faster.
4 – Black tea and coffee alternatives
Most people think bad thoughts when they think of decaf coffee, but have you actually tried it? Just like coffee, you can get bad decaf and you can get good decaf (you really can!). Consider decaf when you are hitting your caffeine limits but looking for another hot cup of coffee.
Similarly, black tea (made white with milk), or green tea contains caffeine. Have you heard of Rooibos? It’s a great black tea bag decaf alternative. So are a lot of your herbal teas. Start tasting!
Alternatively, cups of bone broth, or miso soup can be a tasty alternative.
5 – Add fresh fruit to your water
Mix it up and add some refreshing flavours to your water bottle or glass. A hint of cucumber, lemon, strawberries or mint can be all you need to move away from that ‘water is boring’ attitude.
6 – Add ice to your alcohol
If you must drink, add ice cubes. The ice provides a little more water to your drink, increasing your hydration levels, and working on reducing your hangover levels. Of course, alcohol is dehydrating, so avoiding alcohol is best.
7 – Make goals
Remind yourself to drink water by having a bottle on your desk or by your side, drinking a glass of water while the kettle boils (every time you boil it), set an alarm on your phone for every 1hr, finish that glass of water within the hour. Find what works for you and get your daily intake (generally 2L daily).
8 – Don’t forget your fruit!
Juicy, delicious fruit is full of water, and a great way to trick yourself into getting more fluids. Enjoy seasonal fruit daily, aiming for 1-2 pieces per day.
Avoid the dry skin, slow moods and cramps this winter with fluids. Our bodies are made up of 60% water – keep it that way!
Written by Samantha Mainland