The best drinks to stay hydrated

Britain is experiencing the sunniest spring since records began. With summer fast approaching, many of us are hoping for even hotter weather.

As we set out for long walks and enjoy sunny afternoons in our gardens, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated.

Alcohol and caffeine are considered diuretics, meaning these types of drinks cause you to feel an increased need to urinate. This can obviously lead to dehydration if you don’t drink enough hydrating fluids alongside alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks. A morning latte to kick-start your day or an afternoon spent sipping wine, beer or cocktails might give you the impression that you’re drinking plenty but this isn’t actually the case. In fact, you may need to drink even more fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.

How much do I need to drink?

You need to aim to drink about 8-10 glasses of fluid each day. This doesn’t include diuretics, however, as these drinks will simply have a converse effect.

Your body needs water to help maintain a good balance of body fluids, energise muscles, control your temperature, keep your digestive system functioning healthily and much more. Anyone who’s ever been dehydrated knows the importance of water in your body. The headaches, dry lips and fatigue is a clear signal to drink fluids and maintain a good level of health.

So what liquids are actually hydrating?

  • Water

If you find water too boring to drink, but don’t want to add sugary squash which heightens your calorie intake, try adding a slice of cucumber or lemon for flavour.

  • Milk

Milk doesn’t just hydrate you – it contains key nutrients such as protein too.

  • Fruit juice

You can either buy fruit juice or make your own smoothies. Our top tip is to use crushed ice to dilute your juice – it’s calorie free and makes your drink even thicker and tastier

  • Fizzy drinks

Aim for low sugar or low calorie versions to avoid consuming too much sugar. Fizzy drinks often give you a feeling of being fuller, and can be more enjoyable to drink than plain water

  • Coconut water

Coconut water contains electrolytes, which helps your kidneys to function.

  • Herbal teas

Herbal teas don’t contain caffeine. So you can enjoy all the benefits of a nice cuppa whilst also staying hydrated.

You could also consider adding additional fluids to your diet through healthy foods. A cucumber, lettuce and tomato salad is a great way to add more fluids to your day-to-day diet. Fruit such as watermelon is, of course, another great source of fluid. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from food, so it’s a good idea to be mindful about your diet and how much water-rich food you consume.

Maintaining a good hydration routine

It’s not always easy to stay hydrated. Remember to always keep a reusable bottle with you – in your car, at work or even at home. Keep it topped up so you have access to water throughout the day. You might not feel any symptoms of dehydration, but that doesn’t mean you’ve had enough water for the day.

It’s particularly important to stay hydrated if you’ve been exercising as you may lose fluids this way. Redress the balance by drinking plenty of water.

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