We are all aware that hydration is crucial for physical and mental well-being, but many off-the-shelf thirst-quenching choices tend to be packed with artificial sugars, flavouring and caffeine. But, we do get that plain old water, can be a little dull.
In celebration of National Nutrition & Hydration week,
we wanted to offer some wholesome and
delicious tips for topping up your fluid intake this summer and beyond.
Why is hydration so important?
The adult human body is 60% water. Our fluid intake helps keep our vital organs functioning, it helps to regulate our body temperature, lubricate our joints, fight off infections and delivers nutrients to our cells.
Staying well hydrated also contributes to good quality sleep, mental clarity, good skin and our overall mood. It is especially important for older adults as they can become quickly dehydrated, which is caused by a decreased thirst sensation and changes to sodium and water balances.
What are some of the healthy and delicious alternatives to drinking just water or sugary drinks?
1. Coconut Water
This option is great after exercise and has the advantage of containing electrolytes – these are important minerals, namely, potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium that help your body achieve a fluid balance.
Easily available in most supermarkets as a stand-alone drink, but you can also add to smoothies, if the taste is a bit too strong. Also, the sugar content is lower than most fruit juices and sports drinks.
2. Super (hydrating) Salad
So many tasty salad ingredients are high in water content as well as offering additional vitamins and nutrients. Our top picks are:
- Lettuce: 96% water – high in vitamin K & A, good source of fibre
- Cucumber: 96% water – low in calories, rich in vitamin K, potassium and magnesium
- Celery: 95% water – great source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
- Tomatoes: 95% water – good source of vitamin A for the immune system
- Spinach: 93% water – excellent source of iron.
3. Infuse & Improve
Water is obviously a great way to hydrate, but some people understandably find it a little bland. Why not infuse your H20 with herbs like mint, rosemary or lavender, or invigorate with citrus fruits such as orange, lemon and lime or even a combination of the two ingredients such as lemon & lime or orange & mint.
4. Don't Dismiss Dairy
Not the obvious choice but dairy products such as milk and yoghurts are a fantastic way to hydrate. Some plain yoghurt contains 88% water, as well protein and calcium. Pour over a juicy fruit salad to create a delicious and satisfying method of increasing your water intake.
Some studies have found that low fat milk can be even more hydrating than water. The sugar lactose, protein and small amount of fat helps to slow the release of fluid from the stomach keeping you hydrated for longer.
5. Blend, Set & Serve
Soft fruits with a high water content such as melon, strawberries, pineapple and oranges are lovely and huge favourites in summer. However, globally, we waste a shocking amount fresh produce and we're all guilty, at some time, of overbuying fruit in our weekly shop and letting it spoil.
A great way to avoid food waste and have something fun in the freezer is to make homemade ice-lollies. The internet is awash with gorgeous recipes such these on BBC Good Food, and you can easily pick up ice-lolly moulds in supermarkets or online.
And finally, no blog post from The Teapot would be complete without mentioning the benefits of our beloved brew.
For many years it was believed that tea (as well as coffee) was a diuretic, but this has now been debunked. Drinking tea certainly does count towards your daily fluid intake. With this in mind we would recommend turning to herbal teas for even better hydration. Our Hibiscus Flowers Cut and Chamomile Flowers are excellent choices as they are healthy, hydrating and naturally caffeine free....and taste great too!