Importance of Drinking Water & Tips for Drinking More!

5/21/2017

Disclosure: I received a Fill n Go Active Bottle for free in return for an honest review on my blog. I am not being paid to talk about or advertise their products. All opinions of the product are my own. See my policy page HERE for more detail.

Around 55-70% of your body is water and it plays such a vital role in every bodily function. Water acts as a lubricant for your muscles, joints and vital organs, helps to regular your body temperature, to control over heating and transports valuable nutrients to the body. Basically, its important for the mechanics of the body, you cannot function properly without it!

When you exercise, you can lose a lot of fluid(via sweat and breathing) and if these fluids are not topped back up, they can lead to dehydration. Dehydration not only affects your general health and well being but it can also affect your performance during exercise. You can become tired and fatigued more quickly, you wont be able able to regulate your body temperature as efficiently, you may not feel as sharp mentally and it can contribute to cramping(something which Im very familiar with)!

Topping up with water before and during can fuel your muscles for whatever activity you're doing, your heart wont have to work as hard to pump blood around the body and oxygen and nutrients needed during exercise can be transported more efficiently. Making sure you're adequately hydrated will also help with your recovery after exercise too.

How much water should you be drinking?
I'm sure most people have heard the advice of drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day as guideline. However, it can vary from person to person depending on your weight, height, how active you are, the climate, amongst other factors.

One sure way of knowing whether you're hydrated is to check the colour of your urine, if it's a darker yellow/orange, you're dehydrated and need to drink up! However, if it's clear.. you're topped up with fluids, so good job! Be aware though, there is such thing as drinking too much water and being over-hydrated, I personally find that drinking water little and often seems to be the best way!

With regards to sports, on top of taking regular sips of water during the day, I try to make sure I'm well hydrated before partaking in any sort of exercise. I try to have at least half a litre of water 1 to 2 hours before exercise, keeping topped up leading up to the actual activity.
I try to keep topped up with water during exercise too. I typically take a sports bottle like the Brita Fill n Go with me for shorter runs or a hydration pack for my longer runs.

The same for swimming and cycling too, I try to take in water at regular intervals(every 15 mins or so). I have certainly noticed a difference in paying more attention to my hydration, I'm not as fatigued and have more energy when my hydration levels are up.

I actually didn't used to take any water with me to the pool at one point, some people may be under the assumption that you don't sweat when you're swimming, but thats totally wrong and it's equally as important to hydrate when you swim! I used to cramp up pretty regularly in the pool until I started taking water and drinking regularly during my session!
Tips for getting in more Water
So, I'm sure plenty of people have been in this situation at one point or another where you just don't really think about or keep track of the amount of fluids you're taking in. Here's some tips that I've used recently to stay on top of my fluid intake:

Track your water intake - It might sound silly, but if you're really bad at staying on top of your hydration, like I was, then simple reminders can make all of the difference. There are apps available in the app store for tracking your fluid intake, some also have notifications as reminders. If you have a diary or a journal, keep a little log for your water and mark off glasses/bottles of water you've drank that day.
Drink water with every meal -  Always have a bottle of water or glass with each meal you have, it'll be a convenient way of scheduling regular intake of water and water helps you feel fuller too, so could lead to consuming less food(less overeating, winner)!

Spice it up! - Obviously, you cant do this with a filtered bottle - but if you want to spice up your plain water every now and again, try adding some lemon/lime juice, some cut up fruit or even some cordial to your water.

Carry a water bottle at all times - Having a convenient, portable bottle with you will make you more likely to drink from it. Have it sat on your desk by your monitor as a simple reminder to take a sip every now and again, something easily portable that you can take with you where ever you go so it's super convenient for you to drink from even if you're walking or travelling.
Swap for Good - Of course I'm not saying to replace every drink you ever have with water, but swapping a second latte, fizzy drink or or alcoholic beverage would help you be well on your way to staying hydrated and it would be a little lighter on your wallet/purse too!


Brita Fill n Go Active
I don't know about you, but I hate the taste of un-filtered water. I live in an area where the water is quite 'strong', so a filtered water bottle has made it so much more bearable to drink water! I've got a Brita Fill n Go Active water bottle that I carry with me at all times and the filter lasts up to 4 weeks, which is super convenient!

Their new bottle is designed to keep up with active, on the go lifestyles, it's got a durable, squeezable body and I've been able to use it for everything. As I mentioned earlier, I take it on runs with me as it's easy enough to hold and has a carry strap, it's been at the poolside and I've even taken it out on the bike too, useful for all sports!

The release of the bottle is based around the concept of 'swapping for good' and an on-the -go bottle like this can be a great solution to help reduce the waste from single-use plastic bottles! Did you know that plastic bottles last up to 400 years? Even more reason to swap for good! Thats a hell of a long time for a single use item to be sitting around!
Hydrating after a open water swim before parkrun!
Brita are also encouraging people to switch up their new routine, try something different or even just swapping some couch time for some more active time outside, whether it be a walk, run or cycle. Whilst I haven't tried anything 'new' as such, you'll know from my training diaries on my blog that I've been ramping up my swimming and cycling lately, so I'm not just running all the time!

Check out Brita's Facebook Page HERE for some fab tips on swapping for good or check out the hashtag #SwapForGood on social media!

Question: Do you think you drink enough water? What would be your number one tip for getting in more water?

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