As the weather cools downs it can become hard to keep up adequate fluid intake. Whether it be the unpleasant temperature or not sweating as the summer months, hydration is still very important over the winter season.
Adequate fluid intake is important for moving digested food through the digestive tract and preventing constipation. Water can regulate appetite, help the body burn more calorie, reduce bloating and improve skin clarity.
Dark yellow urine is a good indicator that you need to increase your water intake. Keep in mind that caffeine can make the colour of urine so if your urine is clear, it may still mean you aren’t as hydrated as you should be.
As thirst is a relatively weak sensation compared to hunger, by the time you realise you are thirsty, your body may already be dehydrated.
If you do feel thirsty be sure to drink at least 300-500mL to re-hydrate. Aim to drink at least 500mL of fluid every 3-4 to stay hydrated throughout the day. This is a general guide and extra fluid may be needed depending on physical activity, breastfeeding, age and illness. Speak to your dietitian for individual fluid intake recommendations.
Although water should be the first fluid of choice, here are a few tips to increase your fluid intake.
1. Carry a water bottle
Having water available wherever you are will increase your chances of staying hydrated and may jog your memory to sip regularly.
2. Sip on herbal teas
Herbal teas such as peppermint, green and chamomile tea. Not only will they warm you up, but will also increase your daily fluid intake.
3. Make soups at home
Use water as the soup base, add a few cubes of salt reduced stocks as well as a colourful range of vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, leek and broccoli. This is a great way to keep hydrated and increase your vegetable intake at the same time.
4. Blend it
Coconut water has received attention is recent times. While it is a refreshing drink, it does still contain some kilojoules. In saying that coconut water can be used as a base to blend fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables. Water can also be used to create juices, this will not only increase your fluid intake, but also bring you closer to meet your 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables.
|Age||Total water (Food and fluids)||Fluids (Including plain water, milk and other drinks)|
|19-30 yr||3.4 L/day||2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)|
|31-50 yr||3.4 L/day||2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)|
|51-70 yr||3.4 L/day||2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)|
|>70 yr||3.4 L/day||2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)|
|19-30 yr||2.8 L/day||2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)|
|31-50 yr||2.8 L/day||2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)|
|51-70 yr||2.8 L/day||2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)|
|>70 yr||2.8 L/day||2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)|
Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand: Water. (2014)