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National Hydration Day

By PW Nutritionist Aleena Khusro

The 23rd of June marks a very important day - National Hydration Day! The human body is made up of an average of 60% water! That’s more than half of our body composition! So staying hydrated and keeping up our water intake is absolutely crucial. National hydration day helps to create awareness of the importance of staying hydrated and the negative impacts that dehydration has.

Why do we need to stay hydrated?

Water plays an important role in metabolism, cell function, regulating digestion and essentially is crucial to survival! Without adequate water intake, our cells and bodies cant function at their best! Staying hydrated can help maintain everything from luminous glowing skin to healthy joints and proper functioning internal organs. Drinking enough water also helps to aid weight loss!

What causes dehydration? Anything that makes you lose water! This includes excess physical activity, sweating, lack of water intake, vomiting, diarrhoea, diabetes and frequent urination. Slight dehydration leads to decreased blood pressure and feelings of light headedness. However extreme dehydration can lead to major physical and cognitive issues, and biological problems such as kidney stone formation!

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It is extremely important to hydrate yourself when you are working out or engaging in intense activity! Performance studies have shown that mild dehydration can decrease performance by 2-3%, and cause cardiovascular issues and major fatigue. Hydration during working out can include sports drinks that contain electrolytes (magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium) to replenish essential minerals the body loses through sweating!

How do you spot feelings of dehydration? If you start to feel lethargic, wake up with headaches or have mini migraines throughout the day, or feel abnormally hungry throughout the day, have dry skin or chapped lips, or even constipation… you are most probably not drinking enough water!

So how much water does the average person need?

The ‘golden rule’ which everyone should follow is drinking about 8-10 cups a day. However this varies significantly between individuals, so its best to start at 10 cups a day, then adjust this depending on your activity levels, digestion, weather etc. A great indicator is the colour of your urine! Ideally this should be a pale yellow or clear colour. If this is darker, then this is a good indicator you aren't drinking enough! If your activity levels are high throughout the day or you sweat a lot, you will need to increase your water intake accordingly!

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Let’s be real, drinking water can get quite boring and bland! But don’t worry we have some tips on how drinking water get be made a tad bit more exciting and how to increase your water intake…

  • Set yourself an alarm to drink a glass of water every hour. This will have you nailing those 8-10 glasses of water a day!
    • Add natural flavour to your water bottle or water pitcher. You can add in lemon slices, cucumber slices, berries or mint leaves, to make your water taste more refreshing and easier to drink!

  • Drink a glass before or after every bathroom break. Since you’re already getting up to go to the toilet, you can stop by the kitchen to fill up your water bottle or glass and drink more water!
    • Drink some water whilst you are prepping your meals or cooking! Since meal prep or cooking takes a significant amount of time, why not fill up your time by sipping on your water!
  • Use an app to track your water intake or you can even use the water tracker at the back of our Protein World Slender Plan guide!
  • Buy a litre water bottle! These are very cheap, and all you have to do is drink a minimum of x2 of them a day and you will be hitting your water intake goals!
  • Eat water rich foods such as watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and grapefruit. All of these foods have more than 90% of water by composition!