School is back and the kids are starting to settle into it. Like households up and down the country I make sure that every morning there is a bottle of water in my daughter’s school bag. Yet, despite knowing that it’s so important for my 6-year-old to be sipping on her water bottle throughout the day, I often forget to stay hydrated myself.
So, here are some simple hydration tips. The recipe is my Salmon and Prawn Skewers — fish is such a fantastic versatile ingredient and I love to include it in my dinners each week.
Staying adequately hydrated is something I often struggle with, particularly when I’m busy. Our body is roughly 50% to 60% water. It has several vital roles to play in the body; the fact that we can survive weeks without food but only a few days without water, is testimony to how important it is for our health. Being even slightly dehydrated can have a negative impact on aspects such as decision-making, concentration, and reaction times. For example, losing more than 5% of your body weight in water reduces your ability to move and work by as much as 30%.
Invest in a BPA-free (bisphenol-a) water bottle. Plastic bottles have been found to leach toxins into water but you won’t have this problem with a BPA-free bottle — plus they are also kinder to the environment. I came across a lovely Irish brand recently called ‘Mother Reusables’: check out their products for stylish yet sustainable reusable water bottles.
Keep your bottle with you and ensure that there is water in it! I’ve often found myself wandering through a workday with an empty bottle. It’s handy to keep it on the desk in your office to remind you to drink.
Lots of us love our tea and coffees but try to reduce your intake as they contain caffeine which acts as a mild diuretic, causing the body to lose fluid and increase the need to use the toilet. To help combat this, try drinking water with your coffee.
Reminders might be a great way to help you to keep drinking. There are lots of ways to set reminders to keep you on track with your hydration. Your phone might work well or alternatively you could get a handy little hydration monitor. I have one called the Ulla monitor in my shop, it sits on the side of your water bottle and flashes if you have not moved the bottle for a period of time.
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink: thirst is a sign that your body has needed fluids for a while. Take small sips throughout the day to help avoid this.
A key factor affecting your water requirements is your activity level. If you are more active and sweating then increase your fluid intake.
Ideally, most people should be drinking more than two litres of water daily. This equates to eight glasses of water a day. For active individuals, you should be consuming between 3 and 4 litres of water daily.
Breaststroke swimming is a great form of exercise and offers low impact on the joints.
Tips on how to perform this exercise include:
Place your hands in a ‘pray’ position with your face underwater
Cut the water in front of you and turn your palms away from you
Push down and around in a circle back around to your chest
Simultaneously bring your head up for a breath
Bend your heels towards and draw your legs out in a frog position with the soles of your feet pointing outwards
Do a powerful kick around in a circle until your legs come back together straight
Repeat this motion
For a light summertime supper that combines sharp peppers, courgette and chunks of salmon, try these skewers oven-roasted or on the barbecue
500g salmon, diced
16 large tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
1 yellow pepper, chopped into large chunks
1 courgette, coined
8 long wooden/metal skewers, soaked in water
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 lemon, juiced
1tsp sea salt
1tsp cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C or light the barbecue.
Load the skewers with the fish, prawns and vegetables, ensuring everyone gets the same amount in a small bowl. Whisk together the oil, lemon, salt and pepper dressing.
Brush the skewers with the dressing.
If you’re cooking in the oven: Place the skewers on a lightly greased tray and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Turn the skewers halfway through to ensure even cooking and brush with more dressing.
If you’re using a barbecue: Place the skewers on the barbecue and cook for 10-15 minutes. Continuously marinade with dressing and turn regularly so they don’t stick to the grill.
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