We have all heard the popular advice that we should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Though this does depend on a person’s body size, physical activity levels, climate and what types of food they are eating; When you consider water makes up about 60 percent of an adult’s body weight and is an essential nutrient, more important to life than any other, wouldn’t you want to be having as much as possible?
Benefits of drinking water:
- Prevents dehydration (even more important if you are breastfeeding).
- Cleanses the body and promotes healing processes after birth.
- Substituting water for beverages high in calories can also help with weight loss.
- Acts as a lubricant and cushion around joints.
- Forms the amniotic sac surrounding a foetus.
- Helps regulate body temperature.
- Carries nutrients and waste products throughout the body.
- Involved in blood transport and allows many metabolic reactions to occur.
Drinking eight cups of water a day may seem a lot, but it’s easier than you think.
Try these five steps to make sure you’re staying hydrated and healthy….
1. Always drink water before, with and after meals. It will help you eat slowly and prevent overeating. If you drink one glass of water with every meal that’s at least three to four already for the day!
2. If breastfeeding remember to fill a large glass of water before you sit down to feed and aim to finish it by the end of the feed.
3. Carry water with you everywhere! I always keep a 600ml bottle with me and sip from it regularly. You’ll be surprised how quickly you have to fill it up again.
4. Eat water rich foods such as a tomato (95% water) or an egg (about 74% water and also a great source of protein).
Watermelon, which is 92% water by weight, is also hydrating. Try blending some fresh seedless watermelon with ice and place a few sprigs of mint for a refreshing drink.
(Note: Although watermelon is considered a high GI food, because the amount of carbohydrate is so little it won’t have much effect on your blood glucose levels, so in terms of impact, it is very low.)
5. If exercising remember to drink during and after the session, when sweating you dehydrate quicker so try to drink more than usual – at least two extra big glasses of water per hour you exercise.
- If your urine is clear, you’re drinking enough water.
- Herbal tea can count as part of your daily water intake
- Having a cool/cute cup or bottle may encourage you to drink out of it more.