For many, drinking water isn’t the peak of excitement, yet it makes its way onto our to-do list every month. And while we all aspire to drink the recommended four to six cups per day, we often get to the end of the day with a half-full water bottle still sitting on our desk.
Instead of agonising over the amount of water you take in every day, trick yourself into consuming foods and drinks that are packed with water – but disguised as something else.
But first, let’s consider why our bodies need water. Water makes up about 60% of an adult body and plays a vital role in maintaining brain activity, aiding digestion, carrying nutrients and oxygen, protecting organs and tissues, and flushing out waste. It essentially keeps every system in the body functioning properly.
Water has an instrumental part to play in our bodies, and that’s why we need to prioritise our water intake at any cost, even if we have to take shortcuts. Here are some tips to unknowingly trick yourself into consuming more water every day.
Eat foods that are high in water
Did you know that cucumber is essentially water disguised as a vegetable? Not only delicious and very versatile, but cucumber also contains 95% water. Use it in salads, salsas, or on a slice of toast with cream cheese for a tasty meal. Other foods with a high-water content are watermelon, berries, mangoes, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, and peaches. By incorporating more of these foods into your diet, you’ll be able to hit your daily water target in no time.
Can’t stomach water? Try homemade iced tea
Instead of reaching for that fizzy drink you know you shouldn’t have, consider making your own delicious, iced tea at home. Not only will you be able to control how much water you add to your tea, but also the sugar content. Nowadays, there are so many flavoured teas out there that you won’t ever run out of options or – let’s face it – get tired of the taste. Start your day by filling a jug of tea, infused however you like, and placing it in the fridge to cool. As you get thirsty throughout the day, pop a few blocks of ice into a glass, and sip on the refreshingly healthy beverage.
But if you just can’t part with it, dilute it
Some of us can’t just quit our habits cold turkey, so try this! If you love having a glass of fruit juice with your breakfast, dilute it with water. While you’ll still get your fix of the delicious fruity goodness, it will add some much-appreciated water to your system. The same can be applied to other types of drinks, including alcoholic beverages, which are known to dehydrate the body. Practice the 80/20 rule and see if you can scale it down as time goes on.
Don't forget to hydrate the outside too!
While we typically associate hydrating mists with cooling down on a warm day, it’s become quite common to spritz your face any time of the day for an instant pick-me-up. As you may already know, the skin is the body's largest organ – one that needs to be hydrated on the outside too.
These mists hydrate the skin from the outside, cool you down (which in turn leads to better body temperature control), and leave the skin feeling soothed. So instead of leaving your skin to dry out, especially during the colder months, spritz away.
“The best way to keep your body functioning optimally is to replenish your water supply and aim to hit the daily recommendation as often as possible. Not only will you feel better by improving your overall health, but your skin will reflect it too," explains Dr Sivuyile Madikana, Herbalife Nutrition NAB.