Dietitians Anna and Alex from The Biting Truth explain why proper hydration is so important, especially when it comes to gut health and share their top tips on how to stay well hydrated.
Why is it so important to be well hydrated?
It won’t come as a surprise that hydration is important! And the warmer Summer days here in Australia mean there’s never been a more important time to ensure your body is getting the fluid it requires to stay healthy.
Your body is about 70% water and drinking enough fluids is vital for optimal health.
Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, carry oxygen and nutrients to cells, prevent constipation, protect organs and tissues amongst other things. Water is also particularly important during exercise as the body maintains an optimal temperature by sweating.
What is the connection between water and gut health?
Among its many functions in the body, water is critical to healthy digestion and supports the process from start to finish – it’s is involved in literally every step of the process!
Starting with the first step of digestion, chewing. Water is a major component of saliva and is necessary to soften food and make it easier to chew and swallow. Water works with your stomach’s acids to break down the foods you eat. It is required for the absorption of nutrients into your blood. It also travels through your digestive system, softening your stool for easier bowel movements and preventing constipation.
When is the best time of day to hydrate yourself?
There is no evidence to suggest there is a particularly beneficial time of day to drink water. Ideally, you want to drink water all day long and space your water intake evenly. Your body auto-regulates, so if you drink 1L of fluid, within a couple of hours your body will have gotten rid of the extra fluid. So you can’t drink heaps of water in the morning and expect it to last you all day. Don’t wait to feel thirsty to drink water, try and sip on it continuously.
How much water do you need?
You may have grown up learning that we need ‘8 glasses of water a day’. While this provides a rough target, how much water you need can vary significantly from person to person. It depends on a number of factors such as your age, gender, height, weight, exercise regime, temperature, diet (including how many diuretics you consume like coffee and alcohol).
As a general guide, men should aim for 2.6L of water per day and women 2.1L of water per day, but that will increase if you work out or are sick.
Do you have to drink plain water?
Nope! While plain water will certainly do the trick, it’s not the only option to hydrate your body.
Here are a few of our favourite alternatives to plain water:
- Sparkling water
- Fresh fruit flavoured water
We love to combine our MOJO with some fresh fruit, herbs and ice as tasty way to help you stay hydrated throughout Summer celebrations!
The super-sippable Mango Lime variety combines the sweetness of ripe mango with a touch of zesty lime for a tropical twist on MOJO’s low sugar Activated Kombucha. Enjoy our MOJO Mango Mocktail recipe as a gut-friendly alternative to traditional soft drinks!
- 2 x 330mL MOJO Activated Kombucha Mango Lime
- 1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup seasonal fruit (we love the colour and sweetness of fresh or frozen raspberries)
- 4 chilled glasses
Method: In each glass, add a scoop of ice, seasonal fruit and roughly torn mint. Top with kombucha and stir gently to combine.
How can I remember to drink plenty of water?
There are a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve to try and ensure you stay well hydrated.
Find a couple of these that work for you and start implementing them into your daily routine.
- Carry a drink bottle with you and refill it throughout the day
- Link water intake to a daily activity e.g. have a glass of water as soon as you wake up or every time you go to the bathroom
- Download an app that can send you reminders to drink regularly throughout the day
- Choose water when dining out
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water
– Alex and Anna, The Biting Truth