Get Moving Challenge Week 3: Get Hydrated

Water is essential for everyday life. Your body needs it to function- so drink up!

The importance of water

Our bodies need water for most bodily functions, including:

  • Maintain every cell’s health
  • Keep blood flowing
  • Help eliminate by-products of metabolism
  • Regulate body temperature (through sweating)
  • Cushion and lubricate joints
  • Help digestion and prevent constipation
  • Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • Helps to clear skin
  • Moisten the lungs and mouth

Did you know?

  • The human body can last weeks without food, but only days (if that!) without water.
  • The body is made up of at least 60% water and up to 75% - this figure decreases
    with age.
  • Most adults lose between 2.5 – 3 litres of water per day.

Inadequate water intake: Dehydration

Not drinking enough water can lower your physical and mental performance, salivary gland function and may lead to dehydration!
Dehydration occurs when there is not a sufficient amount of water in the body. Symptoms include: thirst, headaches, lethargy and tiredness, slow responses, dark-coloured urine, dry lips and confusion. 
Dehydration can be easily overcome by increasing intake of water. However, if it is not, eventually urination will stop, kidneys fail and the body can’t remove toxic waste products. Babies, children and elderly people are the most at risk of dehydration, but everyone needs to drink water for optimum bodily functioning!

How much water should we drink?

Age Recommended water consumption (per day)
4-13 years 1.4 Litres
14-18 years 1.8 Litres
Adult females 2.1 Litres
Adult males 2.6 Litres

You may need to increase your fluid intake if you are:

  • Physically active
  • Exposed to warm or hot conditions
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • On a high-protein or high-fibre diet

Tips for increasing water intake

  • 20% of your water intake can come from solid foods alone! Fruit and vegetables contain the most- particularly watermelon, berries, celery, cucumber and lettuce. Fish, eggs and yoghurt also have high water content.
  • Drink more milk! Milk (particularly low-fat varieties) is made of approx. 90% water!
  • Drinking tea can help you meet your fluid goals- try different herbal teas to get the extra benefits of antioxidants.
  • Add fresh fruit to plain water to add variety. This can simply be a squeeze or slice of lemon, lime, orange, strawberry or virtually any fruit you like!
  • Always keep a bottle or glass of water nearby- either on your desk, in the car, in your bag or at home.
  • Try making flavoured ice cubes for extra taste- simply dice your favourite fruits (e.g. berries, kiwi fruit or pineapple), add to water in ice cube trays and freeze!

 

Try these tips while limiting your intake of sugary drinks like soft drink, sports drinks and
 store-bought fruit juice, to avoid the extra nasties!