Stay Hydrated in a Heatwave: Here are 10 expert tips to up your water intake and stay healthy as temperatures rise
In the midst of a heatwave that has seen record temperatures across Scotland and the UK, it’s even more important to stay hydrated – not just to keep cool but to replace fluids lost in the extreme heat.
Doran Binder is an expert on everything H2O, from being a qualified water sommelier to being founder of the Crag Spring Water Brand.
Here he shares his tips on how to make sure you get – at the very least – the recommended two litres of water per day your body need.
These are his top 10 tips.
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Get ahead at the start of the day
Keep a large glass of water next to your bed every night. This is about changing habits through making hydration easier and more accessible, but there’s another psychological element of feeling like you’re ahead of the game, to this one.
I keep a large glass of water next to my bed each night, then as soon as I wake up, I drink the entire glass. If it’s a pint glass that’s half a litre done before you’ve even got out of bed – a quarter of your goal for the day.
Don’t go anywhere without your bottle of water
It’s common sense really, but if you want to up your water intake then you need to have your bottle on you at all times. If it’s next to me, I will find myself swigging from the bottle without even thinking about it. It becomes a habit. Whereas, if you have to go to the tap, or the fridge, or the shop, then that’s more of an effort. To make something a habit you need to remove as many barriers as possible, the easier it is the more likely you are to stick to it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking just tap water, but it can get a bit ‘samey’. I like to alternate between still and sparkling and natural water just to give a bit of variation. It’s surprising how much of a difference this small change can make in upping your water intake.
Try something new
There are so many different types of really good quality spring and mineral waters available from all over the world. Contrary to popular belief they don’t all taste the same.
Since I qualified as a water sommelier, I have studied in-depth the massive variations in flavour and texture that different bottled waters can have. There are so many varieties that can be easily purchased from your local shop or supermarket so why not try something new?
Mix up temperatures
Sometimes it can be a struggle to drink really cold water, especially when it’s a hot day, as the temperature difference to your body will be even more extreme. Not to mention those who have sensitive teeth. Whether it’s ice cold, warm, cool, room temperature – water will hydrate your body the same no matter what temperature it is. Personally, I prefer to drink my water at room temperature as that’s how I can really appreciate the flavours at their best.
Get a subscription
One thing about drinking more bottled water is the impact that can have on the environment. All those plastic bottles often end up in landfill or worse, in our waterways.
Water subscription services deliver crates of water then reuse the bottles.
Add natural flavours
Personally, I’m not one for adding flavours to my water as I have learnt to appreciate the subtle differences in spring and mineral waters. However, I do understand that until drinking more water becomes a habit, some people might need to mix up the flavours.
There are many natural ways to flavour water whilst still avoiding sugars and additives that will cancel out all your good work. Herbal teas are one idea, switch out your morning coffee with a fruit infusion and you’ll be drinking approximately 240–350 ml of water (the volume of a standard mug). That’s around an eighth of your daily goal done before breakfast. Make a big jug and chill it in the fridge during the hot weather and have it as iced tea.
If getting rid of your morning coffee is a step too far then form another habit of drinking a glass of water while you wait for the kettle to boil.
Citrus fruits, cucumber, mint, berries and watermelon are all great ways to flavour your water in a natural and healthy way.
Track it with an app
For the higher tech among us, there are freely available apps that will not only track your water intake but will remind you throughout the day that it may be time to have a drink. Most will allow you to customise it with your height, weight and water goal.
Try a marked water bottle
Some people find that a water bottle with a visual aid of the levels of water consumed throughout the day, can help them to feel that they are keeping on track with their goal. There are lots of different types of bottles readily available, some of which also have prompts of times that you should have drunk a certain amount of water by. The benefits of these are that it encourages a little and often approach to staying hydrated which is better for the body.
Keep a note of the benefits
If there is one thing that has really helped me in my journey from two litres to four litres of water every day, it has been documenting the benefits. I also like to note down when I notice something new and read back over this to remind myself why I’ve decided to commit to four litres a day for the rest of my life.