HL Well! Tapping into hydration this May

10 May 2017

May brings with it the start of warmer weather (we hope!) so this is the perfect time to introduce our next HL Well! theme – hydration.

We all know that it’s important for us to get the right amount of fluid to stay healthy. However, there are lots of mixed messages about how much you should drink and what you need to drink. Do we really need to drink 6-8 glasses of water on top of all other drinks? Is it true that tea and coffee do not count towards our fluid intake? If you’re thirsty, are you already dehydrated?

We’ll be exploring all of these myths and a whole lot more throughout the month as well as looking at how to choose a healthy balance of drinks.

There are many benefits to staying hydrated. Getting less tired, managing your weight, balancing your mood, controlling your body temperature, maintaining healthy blood pressure and having a better immune system are just some of them. If you don’t drink enough, you can easily get dehydrated.

The NHS Eat Well guide suggests we should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day but this does include other drinks such as milk, tea and coffee. What you need also depends on the weather, the amount of exercise you do and your diet. Remember that drinking excessively is not healthy either. So you need to use your judgement but it’s helpful to be aware of the signs of dehydration. These include dizziness or light-headedness, headaches, tiredness and dry skin, mouth, lips and eyes.

So how do we stay hydrated? The simplest and cheapest way is, of course, by drinking water. Here are some easy tips for ensuring good hydration throughout the day:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle to fill up from the water cooler.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink or a small amount of sugar free cordial.
  • Try to drink water when you’re feeling hungry as thirst is often confused with hunger.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour. You can even try an app, such as Daily Water or iDrated (both free) to help remind you and track your water intake!
  • At work, try to tie your water-drinking into your general wellbeing. For example, walk to the furthest water cooler, stand up to drink your glass of water or combine a water break with a few desk exercises!

Good luck!

Susan Gregory

Susan Gregory

HR Manager

Our Expert
Susan Gregory
Susan Gregory
Location: Bristol (UK)

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