Dry lips. Dry mouth. Increased thirst. Headaches. Dark yellow urine. Low blood pressure. Increased heart rate. What do all of these symptoms have in common? They are all signs of dehydration. With summer around the corner, and hopefully a lot of sunshine, staying well hydrated is essential. It is just as important however, to consume adequate fluids all year round. In addition to reducing the risk of dehydration and stroke, fluids help to get rid of waste, carry nutrients through the body, normalize blood pressure and body temperature, aids in digestion and bowel regularity, and cushions joints and organs.  Fluid needs vary between people as the amount required depends on age, gender and physical activity level. Typically, women over the age of 19 require approximately 9 cups of fluid while men require 12 cups daily. Fluids include water and other beverages such as milk, coffee, tea, juice, broth, soups, and ice. Although it is a myth that people need to consume 8 cups of water daily to stay healthy, it should be chosen most often. Several studies suggest that drinking water may help with several health issues such as constipation and kidney disease, while consuming too much caffeine can interrupt sleep, cause irritability, nervousness, rapid heart rate and headaches. Caffeinated drinks should be limited to 3 cups daily (400mg/daily).

Sometimes plain old water doesn’t cut it. Below are a few ways to add flavour to your water while keeping the caloric and sugar content low. Infused water tastes bests when refrigerated for at least 2-4hours and can be kept refrigerated for approximately 2 days.

Cinnamon

Not only does cinnamon add a warm flavour, but it is well known for its’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This spice is most studied for its’ possible impact on lowering blood sugar levels.

Cucumber, Lemon & Mint

Cucumbers are low in calories but high in water and various vitamins (e.g. vitamin K) and minerals (e.g. potassium, vitamin C). Keep the peel on to optimize the nutrients consumed.

Strawberry, Lemon, Cucumber & Mint

Strawberries are well known for its low calorie, high fibre, vitamin C, potassium, folate and antioxidant content. Their sweet flavour combined with the cool flavour of mint and sourness of lemon, make for a great addition to water.

Watermelon

Watermelon’s refreshing and delicious flavour makes it a great addition to water. Watermelons’ are well known for their vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium content. It also contains a lot of water, which will help you hydrate.

Orange, Lemon, Rosemary

Not only are oranges naturally sweet, but their fibre, vitamin C, thiamine, folate, potassium and antioxidant content make this fruit appealing. When paired with the piney flavour of rosemary and the sourness of lemon, orange infused water can quench your thirst.

Devika Sharma

Devika is a registered dietitian, and is certified in health and fitness studies. She currently holds a position as a renal dietitian and nutrition consultant for Synaptitude Brain Health and is the founder of One More Bite - a Vancouver-based nutrition consulting company that aims to provide evidence-based dietary information to assist with nutrition impacted diseases. She is a strong advocate for health and nutrition and firmly believes that embracing the concept of moderation contributes to a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

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