Drinking more fluids during the day is the single most important thing you can do to support your body, brain and energy levels. Water is best but there are other tricks that can help you hydrate.
We are, what a fellow scientist once called a 'hairy bag of salty water' - about 60% of our body is water and we need to replace it on a daily basis to prevent dehydration. Water is needed for basically all body functions from our cells, organs and skin to the muscles and brain.
Unfortunately, our sense for thirst is unreliable - when we feel thirsty we are already dehydrated. Dehydration can affect your cognitive ability, it has an impact on your mood and memory. Watch out for first signs: dark urine, headaches, constipation or feeling tired or dizzy.
Water is best for hydration - have your first sips right after you wake up. A cup of tea or coffee counts towards your fluid intake but don't overdo it. If you don't like drinking plain water, add some lemon juice, a few berries, slices of cucumber or fresh mint leaves. If you prefer a warm drink, try herbal or fruit tea. Please reduce sugary fizzy drinks, undiluted fruit juice and squash.
As a rule of thumb you should drink between 1.5 and 2ltrs of water per day, more if you exercise. At work or at home try and drink regularly, a glass or two every hour. Have a bottle of water with you (on your desk/in your bag/car) as a nice little reminder to drink more.
You can eat your water, too: fruit and vegetables like oranges, kiwi fruit, peaches, cucumber, spinach, carrots and tomatoes are very high in water - try a home-made smoothie (more veg than fruit), a fresh salad or a hearty soup!