'Drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated' is one of those pieces of advice I've heard for years, like 'eat more fruit and vegetables', and 'don't smoke'. And yet recently I've been feeling that I'm dehydrated.
I say "recently", in fact it's probably been going on for years, and it might not be just failing to drink enough water.
Eating and drinking the wrong things can lead to dehydration, and it can be easy to miss symptoms of dehydration. All of this - and a general desire to be healthier overall - has led me to think I'm really not getting enough water.
So I've decided to spend the next month being very aware of, and tracking, how much water I consume.
Hydration awareness month
I've been vegetarian for over thirty years, so I already eat many foods that help keep you hydrated, but I could improve a great deal. So for the next month, I'm going to be:
Making sure I drink at least two litres of plain water a day.I've bought a water bottle (from Mont-Bell, pictured above) which I have started carrying with me. Although only holds 750ml, I will supplement that with water at home.
Avoiding alcohol.This is something I want to do anyway, and I don't think I'll really see the full benefits of trying to stay hydrated if I continue to drink. At least for the next month, I'll be strictly no booze.
Being very conscious about what I eat.It can be very easy to grab a packet of crisps or eat some questionable crap now and then. Or every day. So I have to also focus on what I eat, meaning I want to eat more fruits in particular (I don't eat enough fruit), and more leafy vegetables. I also aim to carry healthy, home-prepared snacks like vegetable sticks.
Drinking only water or tea.In the past I've toyed with the idea of eating and drinking things that people ate and drank before everything was processed. I don't mean trying some fad diet, but simply going for whole foods and avoiding fizzy drinks and the like. So for the next month I'll be sticking to water and tea. I might spice up my water with lemon, or something else, and enjoy a variety of teas (green, brown, oolong, etc.), but I intend to jeep it clean.
Monitoring it all.For the first time in my life, I intend to keep a food and drink diary. Every day I'll write down what I eat and drink, and any observations. I'm hoping to record weekly updates here with an end of month summary and conclusion.
It all starts today.