The Importance of Fluids in your Diet

To stay healthy, it's important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate. We get some fluid from our food but most comes from drinks.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. That's about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses for a man.

After one hours exercise during which you would sweat, breathe more heavily and generally use more water, you may have lost between1000 and 2000 ml. Replacing this is vital to avoid dehydration.

CONSEQUENCES OF LOW FLUID INTAKE

  • Dark coloured urine

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Dull / dry skin

  • Inefficient kidney function

  • Poor physical and mental performance

WAYS TO KEEP YOUR FLUID LEVELS UP

Start the day with a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon – brilliant for the skin and digestive system and gets you on the way to your 8 glasses a day!

Coffee, tea and soft drinks all count towards your daily requirements but can accelerate water loss and you may therefore need to drink more to compensate. Watch out for the sugar though in some of these drinks. Fruit juices although counting as one of your five a day are high in sugar. However, juice can only ever count as one portion a day, no matter how much you drink. This is because it doesn't contain the fibre found in whole fruits and vegetables.

Sports drinks contain high levels of sugar and should be used only after or during high intensity endurance exercise.

Fill a 1 litre bottle with water/squash at the start of the day and commit to drinking it all by the end of the day.

Carry water with you everywhere you go, make it a habit to sip all day to keep fluid levels up. Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, as they have a high water content.

REMEMBER – If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated!!