When your body's water content drops by as little as 1 to 2 per cent, you'll feel tired, fatigued and possibly even hungry. Essentially, your body just won't be functioning at its best.
In his book, The H-Factor Diet, nutritionist and personal trainer Andrew Cate offers these snappy ideas for working more water into your day:
- Drink 1-2 glasses of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner. The extra fullness may also help reduce your portion sizes.
- Don't wait to feel thirsty. Try to make drinking water a habit by adding it to other habits, such as after going to the toilet or after brushing your teeth.
- Drink a little extra water if it's hot, if you are active or if you work in an air-conditioned office.
- Have a water bottle on hand at your desk, in your fridge and in your car.
- Drink water to quench your thirst, and only drink other kilojoule-laden beverages in small amounts for taste.
- Cool fluids are absorbed quicker by the body, so keep this in mind on hot days. There is also some evidence to suggest that iced water takes a few more kilojoules to absorb, and it may cause your stomach to shrink slightly, making you feel fuller faster.
- If you take large amounts of caffeine from tea or coffee (more than 4 cups a day), drink a little extra water to overcome the diuretic effect.
- Drink an extra glass of water for every standard alcoholic beverage you consume.
- Be more aware of your water intake as you get older. Between 60-70, people start to lose their appetite and as a result, get less water from foods in their diets.
- If you take medications that have a diuretic effect, or if you use fibre tablets, include an extra glass of water in your day.
Editor's idea – invest in a water jug that makes you smile and place it on your desk. If it looks good, you may be more temped to pay attention to it throughout the day.
Drink the majority of your water earlier in the day. While it's important to stay well hydrated, you don't want to interfere with your sleep - even the slightest disturbance in sleep can disrupt your circadian rythm and the secretion of sleep hormones.
To find out more about Andrew Cate, or to check out more on the H-Factor Diet (RRP $19.95, ABC Books), visit www.andrewcate.com
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