Are You Hydrated?
As it starts to heat up in Brisbane, are you getting enough fluid? Optimal hydration is a cornerstone of good health. We need good hydration helps to flush the kidneys, remove the body’s waste products, prevent water retention, and plays a role in heat regulation.
Another excellent reason to be hydrated is to help manage your weight. Fluid is a natural appetite suppressant; the body commonly confuses the signals between hungry and thirsty, which is why you should make sure you’ve had something to drink before you go for a snack.
What and how much to drink?
Water is best; it’s freely available and calorie free! If you don’t like water, try some natural flavours (lemon, mint), carbonating the water (eg with a soda stream) or there are some ready-made cold water tea infusions now available at the supermarket to add extra flavour.
If you’re choosing a fluid other than water, look for something with minimal added sugars and preservatives such as tea, mineral water of kombucha.
Milk and fresh squeezed juice provide added nutrient density for their calories, so can be good choices if accounted for within the overall diet. Soft drink, processed juices and sports drinks just provide sugar/calories and are best avoided!
Aim for 2 – 2.5 L per day plus sweat losses. This means if you’re a very active individual, you may require upwards of 3 L per day.
A good way to see if you’re hydrated is to check the colour of your urine – it should be clear and not bright or dark yellow. Remember multivitamins will change the colour!
Tips to increase your fluid intake:
– Carry a water bottle; a clear one helps you see how much you’ve drunk
– Have a glass with meals and snacks
– Always drink fluids when exercising
– Use a chart to track your fluid intake
If in doubt an Accredited Practising Dietitian can answer your questions about your individual fluid and hydration plan.
Louise Cato – Accredited Practising Dietitian