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I’m sure after reading my last article on sugar tax (Click on the following link to read more: https://shanicohen.co.za/2018/04/11/lets-not-sugar-coat-it/)  you would agree that it makes good sense to replace sugary drinks with lots of clean safe water. Research and recommendations vary based on age, gender, weight, activity level, disease conditions and environment, but in general it is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Your body requires an adequate amount of fluid to function properly – it regulates body temperature, aids in digestion, flushes out ‘toxins,’ relieves fatigue and works as a good lubricator of joints, tissues and organs in the body.

It is important to note that liquids other than water can count towards your daily intake. Milk, juice, coffee, tea, jelly and soup are all composed of water and thus count towards your 8 glasses a day – however, water should be your primary source of fluids.

Some people just don’t like water. For others, its easy to forget it and fit it into one’s daily routine. Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you stay hydrated:

  1. Put a water bottle next to your bed. Placing it next to your bed reminds you to drink more at the very start and end of your day. Invest in a bottle that you can conveniently carry around during the day and find one that will easy fit into your bag or cup holder in the car to encourage you to take small sips all day long. The visual cue will be sure to up your fluid intake!

  2. Try infusing your water to perk up the taste. Add a variety of fruits and extras to add a hint of flavour without the calories. Add sliced lemon, whole strawberries, sliced cucumber, berries or mint or create some fruit infused ice cubes. Don’t forget to mash up some of the fruit and herbs with a fork to release more flavour into the water. Here are some interesting combinations to try:

  3. Jalapeno and watermelon

  4. Lemon and basil

  5. Apple and cinnamon

  6. Raspberry and pineapple

  7. Cucumber and mint

  8. Struggle to drink water? Use herbal teas such as rooibos, mint or chamomile to increase your fluid intake. Sugar free squashes are also a great way to contribute to your fluid intake as well as sugar free home made ice teas. Or if you perhaps struggle with drinking cold water, drink hot water, and then add some flavour to it with lemon slices, ginger, lavender or rosemary sprigs.

  9. As winter approaches we tend to drink less water. This is a great opportunity to start including soups into your diet, with the added opportunity of increasing your vegetable intake too! Hydration and antioxidants, reap the benefits!

  10. Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet that have a high water content such as watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple. Besides aiding in fulfilling your fluid requirements, they will provide a great amount of fibre to keep you feeling full for long and ensure a healthy gut. It is recommended to aim for five a day – 2 fruits and 3 vegetables.

So, consider starting off by replacing just one sugary beverage a day with a glass of water. It’s a little step that can equal big change in the long run!

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