I don’t know where in the world you are as a reader, but if you’re in Australia, I feel sorry for you. Let me express for a minute how we are all feeling – UNBEARABLY HOT and CRANKY because of it.
If you’re down under you know it’s impossible to escape the scorching sun and awful humidity that just seems to be getting hotter with each passing day. No need to use your stove in Australia – people are legitimately cooking eggs just by chucking their frypan outside! – YES IT IS THAT HOT.
With this insufferable situation in mind; drinking an adequate amount water is becoming more and more important. Water makes up around 50-80% of our bodies so it makes sense that we need to keep replenishing it throughout the day – especially if we are doing activities that are causing us to dry out. Let’s take a moment to appreciate this miracle substance that we all seem to neglect.
One university textbook of mine describes water as ‘the fluid in which all life processes occur’. ALL LIFE PROCESSES? It must be pretty important. Here’s just some of the benefits of water:
- Flushes out toxins from our body
- Carries the good stuff (nutrients) to our cells so we can function like superheroes
- Acts like a protective cushioning around our joints
- Helps protect the spinal cord
- Aids in digestion
- Maintains the amount of blood in our body
- Helps us stay at our ideal body temperature (although clearly it’s overpowered in the Aussie summer!)
It’s so important that “Drink more water” even made the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
We’ve all heard the ‘8 cups a day’ guideline, but depending on your gender, weight, daily activities and physical environment you actually might need quite a bit more!
Three things you might be doing in the Southern Hemisphere that means you probably need to drink extra water
If you’re here on the continent where even anti-perspirants don’t work, you are most likely dripping in sweat as we speak, unless you are among the privileged who’s aircon is actually decent enough to give you some relief. As you ponder your possibly regretful decision about visiting Australia, (or if you’re a local Aussie and you’re thinking of all the heat-related reasons you should have gone to the Northern Hemisphere this summer) you’re loosing litres of fluid a day that is actually really important for your body to carry out it’s daily duties. Remember that if you’re thirsty you’re actually already dehydrated – so make sure you’re taking a sip regularly!
#2. Swimming in the Ocean
Ahhh Australia. Home to beautiful beaches of all kinds; and although we are notoriously known as the people who have managed to escape the wrath of the thousands of sea and land animals that could kill you in an instant, people still come to visit because of our beautiful landscapes and refreshing water.
One thing you might not know about swimming in the ocean is that you can actually get dehydrated from it. Because of the high salt content of the ocean water, your body water actually favours leaving your body because it’s hungry for the excess salt that you just don’t have.
Swimming at the beach is highly encouraged if you are bravely bearing the Australian summer but just remember to stay safe and keep hydrating all day long!
#3. Getting Sunburnt
If you’re swimming at the beach in Australia, it’s pretty hard to avoid this one. Unless you are an avid sunscreen applier (which we all should be!). But let’s be honest, getting sunburnt in Australia is almost like a right of passage….that we experience every single day during summer. We’ve all felt the exhaustion and headaches from sitting in the sun and turning as red as a tomato and the reason? Dehydration. In your body’s attempt to heal your scorched skin, it sends it’s best and brightest (water) to the surface and away from the rest of your body to help with the healing process. One of the secrets to healing sunburn? Replenish your body with fluids so it doesn’t burn out (pun intended).
Best Ways to Stay Hydrated:
#1. Keep a Water Bottle on you everywhere you go
Are you a laid back Aussie? This is a tip for you if you want to make barely any effort to stay hydrated. Having a water bottle on you means you actually have the H2O our bodies crave right there in your bag or hand. Psychologically, you’ll actually drink more water if you’re carrying around a water bottle because you’ll drink more without thinking about it. Easy peasy.
#2. Add fresh fruit or lemons to your water
I’ve heard time and time again that to some people, drinking water is an effort for the soul reason that it tastes bland to them. Why not add some flavour using natural ingredients to give it that extra buzz? Add some fresh fruit or fresh lemons to give it some oomph and make it more likely for you to drink.
#3. Eat more fruit and veg
‘What does this have to do with hydration?’ you may ask. Fruit and vegetables actually contain LOADS of water – some contain up to 90%! Eating these can actually contribute to your water intake helping to keep you hydrated. Want to know more about how to get fruit and veg in without having to eat handfuls of kale? See my post on how to fit more fruit and veg into your day.