Growing up in a country town, my sister and I spent a lot of time outdoors riding our bikes, playing with our dog, climbing trees and annoying our neighbours. We were so active and whenever I’d get thirsty I would pour myself a glass of cordial, fruit juice or straight milk. For some reason I didn’t like drinking plain water.
As I got older, into my teens and early twenties, I still barely drank the amount of water I needed. I also had many symptoms of chronic dehydration and didn’t realize that all these little annoying things that were wrong with me, were all connected, and that the solution was as simple as drinking more water.
This was a big one for me. I constantly felt tired, run down, unmotivated, anti-social and quiet. I would drink coffee or tea each morning and instead of the buzz you’re supposed to get, I would start yawning and want to go to sleep. Just a 1% drop in cellular water decreases energy production by 10%!
Every Saturday, I would get this standard headache & I could not understand why. I know now that it was because I was drinking our nice filtered water at work during the week & then not drinking anything at home on the weekends.
At age 22 after dehydrating myself for years and drinking too much alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks (not to mention the sunburns), I noticed lines on my forehead and around my eyes that none of my other friends had. Now after being in the habit of drinking enough water, my skin appears to be more hydrated and has plumped up nicely. Those lines have not disappeared however; they just haven’t gotten any worse.
Dehydration can trick you into thinking you’re hungry, when actually you could just be thirsty. Try drinking a big glassful of water 30 minutes before you eat, then see how you feel.
I am an absolute shocker as it is. Pair this with the brain fog you get with dehydration and my life is a mess. I forget where I put things, I get confused, my moods go up and down, I have a hard time studying and absorbing information, my attention span gets smaller and trying to work out maths is impossible. And everyone thought it was the blonde hair…
Other symptoms you may experience are digestive problems, peptic ulcers, constipation, dark urine, depression and anxiety, just to name a few.
So how much water are you supposed to drink? On average about 8 glasses per day, but this varies with your weight, gender, how much you exercise and the climate you live in. You can calculate how much you need as an individual here.
So if you struggle with drinking water as it is, how can you make sure you stick to drinking enough each day?
1. Get a water bottle.
Make sure you get BPA free. There is mixed information out there about the dangers of Bisphenol-A (BPA), so it’s best to steer clear from it as much as possible. When you have water with you, you’re more likely to keep sipping on it.
2. Drink filtered water
Now that you are drinking more water each day, you don’t want to include all the nasty chemicals from tap water as well. Plus drinking filtered water tastes a heck of a lot nicer, so why not?
3. Herbal tea
Herbal teas are so nourishing and hydrating for our bodies. If you’re a herbal tea drinker, you’ll know about the refreshed feeling you get after drinking one cup. They are a great way to sneak more water in and build up the tally each day, but be sure to limit herbal teas with diuretic properties.
4. Coconut water
Filled with electrolytes to rehydrate your body quickly, and with a subtle sweet flavour.
5. Glamourise your water
Still not feeling the motivation to drink enough water throughout the day? Try adding slices of citrus fruit, cucumber, berries or herbs to give it that extra zing! In the picture above, I’ve frozen some mint leaves with water in an ice cube tray, and added some to my glass of water along with a few frozen blueberries. So fresh and delicious.
This simple change in your diet will make drastic changes if you’ve been chronically dehydrated. You can enjoy longer lasting energy, balanced moods, better focus, perhaps even weight loss but most importantly – better health.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog reflects my own personal experiences and should not be interpreted as medical advice or replace the professional advice of your health practitioner. Readers are encouraged to do their own research into their health and should you have a health concern, please consult your doctor.