The Importance of Staying Hydrated
In our daily lives, we often neglect our bodies need to stay adequately hydrated. Many of us will have heard that drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is recommended,but how many of us actually manage that? It's not easy, especially with all the essential cups of tea or coffee consumed during the day. And how many of us know exactly why hydration is so important anyway?
As hula hoopers, or anyone who takes part in physical activity, ensuring adequate hydration is vital to replace the fluids lost through sweating.
If you are taking part in Dry January, you will find yourself more thirsty than normal, as your body is wanting you to have the alcohol that it is used to getting. As you as you start to feel like having a drink, make sure you quench your thirst with a hydrating soft drink - not a fizzy drink such as cola or orangeade - such as water with fresh lemon, orange squash, lime cordial, or elderflower cordial.
So why is it so important to be sufficiently hydrated?
- Adequate hydration maintains healthy blood flow, proper kidney function, proper digestive function and sodium/potassium/electrolyte balance.
- Fluid around your joints protects them during any physical activity, and your water intake is essential for your joints to remain lubricated and healthy
- Adequate hydration is essential for nutrient absorption from the food you consume.
- Water maintains a healthy urinary tract, reduces constipation, and reduces fluid retention.
- Water is also essential for the formation and maintenance of blood plasma, which is 95% water and is vital to protecting the body from infection and other blood disorders, as well as being the protein reserve for the body.
- Dehydration can impair your attention span, memory, and motor skills
So, how can we help ourselves to drink all this water?
- Keep a bottle of water with you or at your desk at work to remind you to drink regularly and sip it throughout the day
- Don't have tea or coffee as your default drink! Have a soft drink during the day to replace the caffeinated drinks and keep you hydrated.
- Hot water with half a fresh lemon squeezed in it is incredibly refreshing and wakes you up without the caffeine.
- Take plenty of water when you practice hooping or exercise and sip regularly to keep your body functioning optimally.
- If you don't like to drink tap water, invest in a Bobble - this water bottle (see photo) with integrated water filter filters tap water as you drink it (and it looks great!)
- Drink water just before bed, and first thing when you wake up. The time when you are asleep is the longest period your body has to go without water for.
- Hydrating it before sleep, and as soon as you wake up replenishes your body's hydration levels when it needs it the most.
- When you are sweating a lot after hooping or exercise, coconut water or isotonic drink is excellent to replace not only fluid loss but the electrolytes and potassium lost through exercise
What are your favourite healthy soft drinks or mocktails? I would love some new ideas for Dry January and beyond!