Nowadays, there’s no dispute that drinking plenty of water is a good habit in the perpetual quest for an optimal state of health. According to the Institute of Medicine, men should consume an average of 3.7 liters of water per day, while women should consume about 3 liters per day. These amounts should be distributed throughout the day. Here are various tips that can help improve your hydration.
First, according to a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition, water consumption improves cognitive performance in addition to affecting mood. Obviously, water consumption remains the best way to hydrate, since water is a thirst-quenching drink that does not contain calories (and sugar!) and even has certain nutrients, such as minerals and trace elements. On the other hand, most foods contain water, so you can also hydrate yourself by eating your vegetables or sipping a good, iced coffee.
1. Add flavour!
Drinking plain water can prove to be difficult for some people. Some tips can therefore be useful to break the monotony. For example, adding lemon or grapefruit juice to water and steeping chunks of fresh ginger in it are great ideas. You can also add fresh or frozen fruits as well as fresh herbs to your water to make it more appetizing. For example, you can mix strawberries with basil or cucumbers with thyme. Be sure to wash the fruit well if you keep the peel on. This simple gesture will eliminate some of the pesticides or preservatives found on the surface of many fruits. Also, there are other good alternatives, such as sugar-free artificial flavour concentrates in the form of drops or essences, to give the water some taste.
2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Much of the water you consume each day comes from the food in your diet. Astonishing, isn't it? For example, an apple is about 85% water while a tomato is about 95% water. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed each day is therefore a great way to improve your hydration while increasing your intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
3. Drink milk
According to a 2016 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, milk is a good hydrating drink because of the amount of electrolytes and water it contains. Substituting a sugary drink per day with a glass of milk, whether skimmed or not, can therefore help you stay hydrated longer while ensuring you consume enough vitamin D and calcium each day.
4. Establish a water consumption routine
Establishing a routine for drinking water can increase water consumption. Drinking a glass of water when waking up every morning, every time you go to the washroom or with every meal are some examples to ensure you get a regular supply of water.
5. Eat more soup
People are more likely to be dehydrated during the winter months. In fact, they often feel less thirsty since it’s cooler and, moreover, since the air is often drier, there are fewer water droplets suspended in the air. So why not enjoy a good, hot soup for lunch or in the evening before dinner? In addition to warming you up, it’ll help keep you hydrated.
6. Prepare smoothies
Another great way to consume liquids is to prepare smoothies. By adding fruit, milk or an alternative drink and some ice, we can partially meet our daily water needs.
7. Use the water in vegetables
Since some vegetables contain a lot of water, you can use your creativity to make homemade vegetable juices with different flavours (even slightly fruity) using a juicer. You can use withered fruits and vegetables that aren't as appealing anymore. For example, you can use the juices extracted from carrots, beets, celery, kale, spinach, green apples, melons and grapes to make a healthy elixir that contains little sugar. It is then advisable to use the scraps (the fibres or pulps rejected by the extractor) in another recipe, such as tasty carrot muffins. As a bonus, this helps reduce food waste.
8. Always bring your bottle with you!
A good way to ensure that you drink plenty of water during the day is to always have your reusable water bottle handy. Whether at work, at home or during activities, you can always have water with you. A good tip to make it easier to count how much water you’ve had is to wrap the bottle with rubber bands and move/remove them to remind you of the servings you’ve consumed.
9. How do you keep your water bottle from freezing in winter?
One way to keep water from freezing is to use a well-insulated water bottle or hydration pack and carry it on your body, ideally under your coat so that the cold doesn't reach the container. Filling it up with lukewarm water instead of cold water will also keep it from freezing longer.
10. Enjoy a relaxing ritual in the evening
In the evening, it is enjoyable to have a routine that helps you sleep. It could therefore be both useful and comforting to pour yourself a cup of hot lemon or herbal infused water (with valerian, chamomile, etc.) in order to relax and thus promote good sleep.
In conclusion, maintaining proper hydration promotes optimal health while helping you to feel good about yourself. What's more, adopting these tips is a good way to integrate a healthy lifestyle into your daily life.
Familiprix in collaboration with Hubert Cormier
1. Le Bellego, L., Jean, C., Jiménez, L., Magnani, C., Tang, W., & Boutrolle, I. (2010). Understanding fluid consumption patterns to improve healthy hydration. Nutrition Today, 45 (6), S22-S26.