ACCORDING to research carried out by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI), nine out of 10 of us aren’t drinking enough water; but just how much should we be glugging, and how can we ensure that we stay suitably topped-up?
The average male body is made up of around 60 per cent water while for women it’s about 50-55 per cent, which is because females have a higher percentage of body fat. Water has many functions in the body including regulating temperature, transporting the nutrients and compounds in our blood and acting as a lubricant and shock absorber in our joints.
This water leaves our bodies in our urine and in our sweat, as well as in our breath; and if it isn’t replaced then you’ll end up dehydrated. Symptoms of this include the obvious one of actually feeling thirsty along with dark yellow and strong smelling urine, being dizzy or lightheaded, fatigue and tiredness, and dry mouth, lips and eyes.
Thirst is a slow feedback sign that your body needs more water. By the time you realise you’re thirsty, you will already have lost between one and two per cent of your body weight as water. If you’re a 70kg male that means you’ll have lost nearly one litre of water.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should have 2.0l of fluid per day; that’s about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml each for a man.
It’s easy to stay well hydrated; and one of the best ways is to start the day with a glass of water – the colder the better because that gets your metabolism working (which is the process that converts what you eat and drink into energy), and it’s also really refreshing. Go on, give it a try.
But staying hydrated shouldn’t stop when you close your front door and head out; ideally when you get to your place of work, your employers should be encouraging you to drink plenty of water because a hydrated workforce is a more productive workforce.
If you’re a business owner then you can encourage you employees to drink more water by installing a water cooler, water fountain or by providing bottled water, and then encouraging everyone to commit to drinking a set amount of water each day.
You could also run an internal email campaign to promote the benefits of drinking water, as well as having “water only” days – although even we have to admit that could prove to be very unpopular; you can’t deny someone a cuppa!
Now that you know how much you should be drinking and the symptoms of dehydration (some of which you might possibly recognise) it’s time to dive into the deep end! Try and keep a record of how much you are drinking over a seven days period, and see how you feel afterwards – it’ll also help if you cut down on alcohol!
Here are a few helpful hints and tips to help you keep on track:
Mealtime booster: At mealtime, try and fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies to help increase your water intake.
Drink before you eat: Sometimes people mistake dehydration for hunger but if you feel hungry, first drink a glass of water and wait for about 10 to 20 minutes. If you’ve still got hunger pangs, then go ahead and eat.
Get the gear: Do you need a fancy water bottle to drink more? No, but getting one you really like might give you an extra boost of motivation to drink up.
If you want help keeping your staff hydrated, then give us a call on 0800 061 2193. Our water products are available across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derby and Nottingham. We also deliver fresh fruit!