We all know how important water is; we’ve all heard the headline “the human body is made up of 50-65% water”. But very few of us know how this statistic translates into practice and we’re all guilty of taking little to no action to improve our consumption of water.
Many of my clients justify their low water intake with their consumption of other fluids; fruit juice, tea & coffee or fizzy drinks. They’re all fluids, right? What does it matter if it’s not water? However, facts are facts, and when it comes to fluid intake, water is king and the benefits of consuming plenty of it are endless; from better skin, hair and nails, to aiding fat loss and improving your ability to concentrate.
The NHS Eat Well Guide states that we should consume a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water, but very rarely can my clients honestly claim to be hitting these targets day in, day out. And that’s the minimum! To truly reap the benefits of water, we should be aiming to drink more than these minimum guidelines. However, with busy schedules it’s often too easy to rush through the day without considering how much water you are taking on board.
This is a common challenge for many of my clients and, as a result, I have pulled together three top tips that can help you increase your daily water consumption most easily and in the most beneficial formats.
1) Drink hot lemon water in the morning
Not only does adding lemon to your water make it a little easier to stomach first thing in the morning, it also improves your digestion by flushing out toxins, boosts your vitamin C intake and acts as an antibacterial to help fight infection
2) Drink water before you eat a meal
Drinking water before your meals helps to improve your satiation and can relieve the urge to snack before meals or encourage you to decrease your portion size
3) Mark a 2 litre water bottle with each hour of the working day
Many of us are visual learners, and by marking your water bottle with each hour of the working day you have a visual target for how much water you should have consumed by any given time
Water can also prove beneficial to your health and fitness in other ways as well:
1) Take a hot bath with epsom salts after training to aid recovery
Taking a bath after a heavy gym session can help to reduce muscle swelling, relieve stress levels, improve circulation and help you get a better night’s sleep
2) Try swimming instead of your usual intense weight training or HIIT training
Resistance training can often take its toll if you don’t accompany it with active recovery days. Swimming is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness whilst taking away the weight bearing element of your training.
These are just a few of the strategies I encourage my clients to build in to their daily plans, but even the smallest or simplest change can have significant effects. Why not give some of these a try for at least 2 weeks and observe the changes to your health and wellbeing.
Nichol Smith, PT at Starks Fitness