One of the most overlooked and underrated nutrition and health benefits is also one of the simplest.
We literally just have to drink more water! Doctors tell us, trainers tell us, even our common sense tells us! So why is it so difficult to do?
The most common excuses surrounding our lack of water intake include:
"I don't like the way it tastes", "I forget", "I need caffeine, water doesn't wake me up", "I'm not thirsty".
Go ahead, admit it! You've said these things at least once! The reality is that you're doing your body a major disservice.
Dr Kevin R Stone says "Drinking water is like washing out your insides. Water will cleanse the system, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues".
And that's just the start of the benefits! Did you know that if you drink water on an empty stomach, it will purify your colon and help it to absorb nutrients? It increases the production of new blood and muscle cells and assists with weight loss.
Water purges toxins from your skin, ensuring it glows and stays clear and also balances your lymph system, helping you to fight infection.
Sounds like a no brainer right?
Yet those excuses remain, so we're going to bust those stories wide open and offer you some great water-based hacks!
1. Water is boring, but it doesn't have to be!
If you don’t like the taste of water, then spruce it up! Adding fresh fruit to your water bottle will add a subtle taste transition that will excite your tongue! Experiment with different fruits. Try some berries or lime and lemon. You can even get really adventurous and try some herbs like mint or lavender. As soon as you start getting excited about flavour sensations, you will want to drink more!
2. You're not forgetting, you're substituting.
Very few people sit and work at a desk all day without some form of refreshment in front of them. In most cases, it’s a cup of coffee or a bottle of Coke. Swap these out for a big bottle of water and instead of reaching for the alternative, make sure you always have h20 handy! That way you cannot forget. These days, there are even apps on your phone that will remind you to drink some water every hour, so scratch that off your list because technology means no more excuses!
3. Scratch the stimulants.
It’s very convenient to give yourself a mid-morning boost with an energy drink or drink a cup of coffee every 20 minutes. We are addicted to the stimulants found in sugary drinks and studies have shown that diet fizzy drinks lead to higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which means every time you think you're being good by choosing the alleged "no sugar" diet drink, you're actually fuelling your hunger. We'll allow you the coffee though, as coffee and tea do contain water so this counts towards you intake, but don't overdo it! Start slow and start replacing one cup of coffee or one fizzy drink with a 2l water per day and see how much better you start to feel!
4. Stay ahead of the thirst.
By the time you have to say that you're thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. This is why consistent intake of water throughout the day is so important. By sticking to the recommended 3 litres (minimum) that you should consume every day, you will absolutely not be thirsty! That's the plan!
If you’re looking to achieve holistic health, drinking water is a good place to start. It forms a valuable part of your nutrition and will only elevate your diet and boost your performance during workouts.
When you become a member of the Body20 family, you get access to our Nutrition Doctors, who offer advice on the best nutrition options to optimise your workouts.