Ever thought about the difference between a raisin and a grape? It’s simple: one’s had all the moisture sucked out of it. Now think about your skin: what would you rather have… the wizened raisin look or the plump look of a juicy grape?
You can probably tell that I’m working my way around to encouraging you to drink more water – the cheapest moisturiser in the world. Yeah, yeah – I know you’ve been told a thousand times and, much like flossing, it can fall into the category of “I absolutely know I should…but I absolutely can’t be bothered”.
Many of my new clients come to me totally unaware that they’re chronically dehydrated. They’ve ignored their thirst mechanism so many times over so many years that it’s given up the ghost. It no longer pulls them on the sleeve to give them the nod to rehydrate. They can go the entire day without having a drop of water and instead knock back a few coffees or Diet Cokes. Fortunately, their thirst mechanism quickly wakes up once they start hydrating themselves.
Personally, I go downhill very quickly when I’m dehydrated. It happened last week when I packed in one too many errands and was zipping around from place to place without water to hand. I literally started to feel my brain turning to fuzz. And that’s no surprise. Did you know that research has shown that even the mildest dehydration of only 1-2% of body water can affect your ability to concentrate, your alertness levels and short-term memory function? Not only that, it can also play havoc with your mood and bring on feelings of anxiety and irritability. You basically turn into a walking liability – not great for your productivity at work or at home.
The fact is that 70% of your body is water and it’s essential to keep yourself topped up. If you work your way up to drinking two litres a day, you’ll soon notice how vastly better you feel.
Need more reasons to motivate yourself? Well, how about water promotes weight loss by reducing hunger and raising your metabolism? It also flushes out toxins, reducing your risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections, helps you digest your food and prevents constipation. It boosts your immune system, helping you fight against flu and other illnesses. It helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines and back pains too!), which are commonly caused by dehydration. Plus it keeps joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so you’re less likely to suffer from joint pain.
Here are three tips to help you keep hydrated:
Kick off your day with lemon water
When you wake up, and before you have anything else in the morning, drink a big glass of room temperature or warm water with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice in it (if you can work up to the juice of half a lemon in warm water then you’re on to a winner). This is a brilliant detoxer, supports your digestion, helps clear your skin and is packed with Vitamin C so is a fantastic immune booster.
Be armed with a bottle
If you carry a bottle of water around with you, it’s one less thing to think about and you’ll naturally keep drinking it. I’m not a fan of plastic water bottles (even the ones that are BPA free) and really worry about the chemicals leaching out into something that’s supposed to be doing you good. I love my gorgeous Corkcicle bottle – no plastic nasties as it’s made of stainless steel and, brilliantly, it keeps cold water cold for 25 hours and hot water hot for 12 hours.
I’m often asked by people who don’t really like plain water if it’s OK to add cordial to water. The answer, I’m afraid, is no. The “full-fat” versions are basically sugar with additives and the low-sugar ones are packed full of toxic artificial sweeteners. Go for natural flavourings and try experimenting with lemon, lime, cucumber, strawberries, kiwi, ginger or mint.
Ok, so you’re all set. Bottoms up!