by: Jen

This year, I’m making an effort to drink more water every day. It’s a very basic goal yet many of us don’t reach the amount of water that we should be having. Our bodies are made up of around 60% water, it’s the single most important substance that keeps us going and it’s so readily available yet many of us neglect to drink it throughout the day.

Water has several key roles in the body, like to act as a transport medium for our blood to carry nutrients, to prevent friction to joints, to aid in body temperature maintenance and for excretion of urine and sweat. But it also means that drinking enough water daily will help to prevent you getting dehydrated or constipated, feeling dizzy, nauseous or getting headaches, and will help to keep your skin looking healthy and maintain a healthy weight. I’m 2 weeks in to my resolution and have to admit I’m feeling better already!

We need around 2 litres of water per day. That’s around 6-8 glasses or four 500ml bottles. It isn’t just drinking glasses of bottled or tap water that helps you to reach your daily requirements. Many foods such as fruits are made up of a large percentage of water and consuming these together with juices and other drinks all add towards your total daily intake. Water is the best option though so if you don’t like the taste, try adding a slice of lemon or lime, having sparkling water or adding some squash or fruit juice to change the flavour. Low fat milk is the next best option followed by fruit juices with no added sugar. Fizzy drinks are best avoided as they can be high in sugar, calories and cause damage to teeth, a better option is to try adding some fruit juice to sparkling water. Teas and coffees can add to your fluid intake but they can also cause you to produce more urine leading to dehydration so they’re best avoided as your main source of fluid, especially during pregnancy when caffeine should be limited to 200mg per day (caffeine content can vary depending on strength but roughly, a cup of brewed coffee has 111mg, instant coffee has 78mg and a cup of tea 44mg).

So this year go back to basics and make an effort to have a glass of water with every meal and bring a bottle of water with you to work or when you’re out and about. It’s an easy New Year’s resolution to keep!