It seems a lot of Brits are treating their body like a desert rather than a temple – research has revealed that half of us have no idea how much water we should be drinking on a daily basis.
I know far too many people who insist that drinking solely fizzy drinks won’t rot their insides – and while that may technically be true, it’s still not that healthy.
A study by British Summer Fruits, who supply 95 per cent of berries to UK supermarkets, looked at the habits of 2,000 UK British adults and found that some people go as long as seven days without having a glass of water.
Your body is not a desert!
A lot of the adults in the study even admitted that the recent, and much missed, UK heatwave wasn’t enough to get them to increase their water intake.
Despite the sweltering temperatures, a third confessed they didn’t keep themselves properly hydrated, with a quarter revealing they ‘struggled’ to increase their intake of fluids in the heat.
Of the 2,000 participants, a huge 51 per cent said they rarely drink water unless it’s mixed with something else.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and spokeswoman for British Summer Fruits, explained the heath benefits of drinking water.
Water is the single most important macronutrient to consume to stay hydrated, especially in this hot weather.
Water is energy, calorie and sugar free so can help you to stay hydrated without providing surpluses of these.
The research also found that a whopping nine in 10 adults typically add squash or cordial to sweeten their plain water, while only one in 10 choose water infused with chunks of fresh fruit, like berries.
As for the ‘it won’t rot my insides’ fizzy drink culprits, they make up 23 per cent of the population.
Dr. Derbyshire continued:
People across the country are becoming more conscious about what they are eating.
However, many are still overlook what they are drinking – and in some instances energy and sugars can tally up.
Two thirds of people never check the calorie count in their drinks – and worryingly, only a fifth check the ingredients of drinks before chugging them.
Almost half believe no added sugar squash is better for you than regular squash.
The NHS recommend drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day – but if this research still isn’t enough to persuade you to drink the stuff straight from the tap, Dr. Derbyshire offered some good alternatives to sugary beverages.
There are many healthy and delicious ways to beat dehydration. For example, try adding mixed berries to your water.
Adding three to four mixed berries – raspberries, blueberries and strawberries – could help increase your vitamin C consumption.
So, not only does it keep you hydrated, taste great, it also has added health benefits.
The Public Health Nutritionist also provided some top tips for staying hydrated throughout the summer. No, it’s not that hot anymore, but you still need to drink water.
If you don’t, your insides will look like the time they shut down Niagara Falls:
Dr. Derbyshire’s tips included:
Keep a water bottle in front of you at all times – whether it is a glass on your desk, a bottle in your handbag – if you always have water near you you’re more likely to drink it.
Flavour water with natural fruit – frozen fruits work well if you do not like plain water. It not only tastes great it also can have added health benefits. My personal favourite is to add a mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Being thirsty can actually make you feel hungry, so every time you find yourself reaching for the cupboard, drink a glass of water to mare you aren’t confusing hunger with dehydration. If you are, you’ll be cutting back the unwanted calories.
The doctor added:
Other drinks like fruit juice also contribute to your fluid allowance, but stick to a 150ml serving to fall in line with guidelines.
Alcohol can also make you dehydrated so if you’re consuming it, drink a glass of water after each drink to ensure you are not getting dehydrated.
So there you have it – next time you find yourself reaching for a sugar filled drink, think again about how some refreshing plain water might actually be the thing your body is crying out for.
And let me remind you, water is free.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.