Staying hydrated isn’t just about keeping thirst at bay – water is essential for the human body to function, transporting nutrients and oxygen around the body. It’s also important for your mind, with even the smallest amount of dehydration leading to impaired concentration and alertness, fatigue and headaches. Good hydration can also improve complexion by preventing dry, ageing skin.
But are you drinking enough? Experts recommend drinking at least six to eight cups of water a day – which means getting into the right habits is essential. Using different techniques and motivators to increase your fluid intake will help ensure you consume the right amount of water for your daily routine. Here are our top six recommendations for increasing your water intake.
Bored by the idea of drinking plain water? Experiment to find your preference – and we don’t just mean ice water or hot. Instead add a little flavour to your fluids: fresh fruits and vegetables such as strawberry tops, cucumber, lemons and ginger are great options, while herbs such as fresh basil or mint add a little something extra. Prefer your fluids sweetened? Add for a dash of fruit juice – it's healthier than drinking a full glass of juice and will satiate that sweet tooth.
Drinking isn’t the only way to consume water. In fact, around one fifth of our daily liquid intake comes from the foods we eat. Eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content is a great way to help reach your daily fluid intake goals. What’s more, these foods are often high in nutritional value – such as oranges, cantaloupe, watermelon, celery, cooked squash and cucumbers (which are 96% water). Milk, yoghurt, and cottage cheese are also good sources of water – albeit higher in fat content.
Prefer your liquids caffeinated or alcoholic? Drinks such as coffee, tea, wine, and beer can be counterproductive – dehydrating, rather than hydrating the human body. Thankfully, there’s a way to avoid the bothersome headaches that tend to come hand-in-hand with such liquids: always have a glass of water on the go, too. It will help stop you from waking up with a dry mouth and pounding headache the morning after the night before – as long as you’re also drinking in moderation, of course.
One of the easiest ways to remember to stay hydrated is to carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. By using a reusable water bottle you’re not only motivating yourself to drink more, you’re also helping to reduce CO2 emissions by avoiding single-use plastic bottles, staying away from potential chemical contaminants and reducing environmental damage by limiting plastic waste. It also allows you to control the quality of your water – and means you can carry your zesty flavoured water around with you all day.
While we can’t avoid the sun altogether (and nor would we want to), there are easy ways to protect yourself from its rays and avoid dehydration. Stay in the shade – especially in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest – and adjust your water intake according to the weather: the more you sweat, the more you should drink to replace this water. When things are really heating up, it’s time to level up on your liquids – sports drinks containing electrolytes are a great option, helping replenish the lost salt from your body to help you stay hydrated. Just be mindful, a lot of sports drinks are high in sugar. Learn more about how to manage your sugar intake here.
Do you often find yourself forgetting to drink water even though you’re aware of the benefits? Apps can offer you assistance, helping remind you to drink and record your daily intake. The Cathay app’s wellness journey not only allows you to track daily health habits with six wellness goals, but serves as your virtual companion to help you stay motivated and engaged. What’s more, as you hit each of your daily wellness goals, you’ll be rewarded with Asia Miles. Simply set a reminder to hydrate every couple of hours to ensure you reach your daily water intake goal of 8 glasses of water a day. Log your progress throughout the day for other wellness habits such as daily steps, hours of sleep, and exercise to earn up to 2,555 Asia Miles each year – just for living a healthier lifestyle.
Hero image: iStock