Spring has definitely sprung up here in the Northern Rivers, and the warmer weather is a great reminder that we need to be mindful about staying well hydrated.
After years working as a sports dietitian and even more years living in a warm climate, I am pretty convinced that keeping body fluids optimal is essential for not only everyday performance but also long term health and well being. We need water to convert our food to energy, to lubricate joints, hydrate skin, protect organs, regulate body temperature, produce tears, saliva and the mucus lining of our gut, and to bring nutrients to and remove waste from our cells. If our body becomes dehydrated we are more likely to suffer from ailments such as joint pain, metabolic issues, high blood pressure, headaches and constipation.
Drinking adequate water is also important for helping flush toxins from our body so it makes sense that the water we drink should be as low as possible in harmful chemicals like pesticides, arsenic, heavy metals, chlorine, VOCs, fluoride as well as viruses and bacteria. One of our key health hacks is to have easy access to pure, clean water - we use a mix of filtered water (if you don't have a water filter our Binchotan charcoal sticks are a great option) and pure spring water from the Byron hinterland for all our drinking & cooking. Some of our family members prefer water at room temperature while others are cool water drinkers most of the time – whatever helps us drink often throughout the day.
Warm and iced botanical teas are another great way to increase fluid intake with the added medicinal benefits of infused herbs.
Including high water foods like fresh fruit (watermelon, peaches, berries, tomatoes, apples) and vegetables (lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, celery) can boost daily fluid intake and also increase your electrolyte intake, which helps your body absorb water.
Adding a little high quality salt to your food or your drinking water during the warmer months can also help improve your fluid uptake.
We try and always bring a water bottle with us when we leave home, and many nights will add a squeeze of lime or lemon to sparkling mineral water to fight fluid fatigue particularly on those really hot days. We also love a cold drip Holy Joe coffee blended with ice and coconut water (a good source of electrolytes) before a workout in summer. Too much caffeine can exacerbate dehydration so include some decaf coffee if you are a big coffee drinker.
And one more fun fact – if you want to check how you are going with your fluid intake … frequent, pale yellow coloured urine is a sign of good hydration. Infrequent, darker brown or orange urine can indicate dehydration.