As you know, staying hydrated is essential for good health and a well-functioning body, and as you’ve probably heard many times, a good average is to drink 1.5 litres of water a day. If you are one of those people who think that “water will make you rust”, then read the following carefully; it will help you avoid chronic moderate dehydration.
Why is it important to stay hydrated, especially in summer?
Among other things, drinking water helps to support kidney function. The kidneys are part of the emunctory organs (responsible for filtering and eliminating waste from the body) which evacuate waste and toxins from the body every day via urine production. In other words, drinking water is essential for draining and eliminating waste from the body.
Contrary to popular belief, drinking water for regular daily consumption should be low in mineral content. The ideal is a quantity of dry residue of less than 100 mg/L (check the label on your bottle). The best thing to do for the planet is not to drink bottled water, but we won’t go into that here, as the subject of water is so complex. Consider installing a special filter directly on the tap for quality water at home or invest in a reverse osmosis water system.
Another common misconception is that drinking herbal teas and teas is the same as drinking water. This is misleading, since there are active molecules from the plants in higher or lower concentrations in herbal tea and in tea, which, very often, have a diuretic effect. The kidneys, therefore, work harder than with simple water. Herbal tea and tea, not to mention coffee, have a medium-term dehydrating effect!
Also, by drinking a lot during meals you are diluting the digestive juices, which greatly disrupts digestion. So make sure to drink your water between mealtimes as often as possible.
Finally, in summer and when it is very hot, many people think that drinking cold water is refreshing and hydrating. The opposite is true since cold water is not ideal for the stomach and digestion: the stomach needs to work harder in the heat to be efficient. You should therefore drink water at room temperature.
What can be done to drink water more regularly and in sufficient quantity?
The average person should drink 1.5 litres a day. Depending on your lifestyle and your metabolism, it is necessary to adapt. If it is hot or even very hot, if you are sporty, if you go to the sauna/hammam, it’s important to balance the loss due to perspiration, and the daily quantity of water should be increased.
Here are some ideas for you:
- If you don’t like water, think about making flavoured water. The possibilities are endless, and it’s delicious. Prepare it in large glass bottles or jars. You could combine a few slices of cucumber with a few mint leaves, a few chia seeds and a little freshly squeezed lemon. Or use a few wedges of citrus fruit, such as grapefruit or orange. Combine red fruits and berries such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries with a few mint leaves. Remember to use only a few small pieces, not whole fruits. Otherwise, it becomes fruit juice, and it is no longer water. The combinations are endless: think of aromatic herbs like mint, basil and lemon balm — again, use only a few leaves; otherwise, it becomes herbal tea. Use fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, which are very hydrating and test it!
- Another way to make flavoured waters is to use hydrolats. A hydrolat (also known as hydrosol) is an aqueous product obtained during the distillation of plants when essential oils are made. It is much less concentrated in active principles than essential oil but is very interesting for many applications, especially in cooking and skin care. You can add hydrosol (2 tablespoons per 1.5 litres of water) of orange blossom, lemon, basil, lavender, or anything else you like or that makes you feel good (plants for digestion, for example) to your daily drinking water. This will give a subtle taste to your water.
- To make sure you drink enough water, either drink at least eight glasses a day outside of meals (including one in the morning and one in the evening at bedtime), or take a 1.5-litre bottle (glass or water bottle, not plastic) with you to work or wherever you go, the aim being to have emptied it by the end of the day.
- Since water isn’t the only thing that hydrates, you should also eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. The water contained in fruit and vegetables hydrates all the cells in your body. Remember to eat foods that are very rich in water, especially in summer: cucumber, lettuce, courgette, celery, radish, broccoli, tomato, watermelon, melon, pomelo, strawberry, raspberry, peach, and pineapple. All the vegetables and fruit listed here contain an average of at least 90% water.
Many people are chronically dehydrated without even knowing it. So drink before you feel thirsty, and above all, use all these little tips, and you will see that you can manage the minimum of 1.5 litres without any problems!
Here’s to you!