We’ve dedicated thousands of words on this blog to the benefits of drinking more water. With water making up around 60 per cent of our body mass, it should come as no surprise that quaffing more H2O can have multiple health benefits. But we admit there’s a big metaphorical elephant perched behind the water cooler – what if you’re just not too keen on the clear stuff? Well, you needn’t worry. There are plenty of ways to complement your intake of water that don’t involve drinking the oft-quoted eight glasses a day. Fruit, for example. Lots of fruits are excellent water sources. Eat lots of fruit along with your water intake and you’ll feel hydrated, as well as getting all the health benefits that come with a fruit-rich diet. Watermelon leads the pack, with a water content of 90 per cent. But you can also enjoy other melons, as well as citrus fruits like grapefruits and oranges, and still be confident you’re putting lots of water into your system. But be careful – fruit contains natural sugars which can rot teeth, so don’t go overboard. Fruit juices can also be good water sources. But these often contain added sugar, as well as their own natural sugars, so dilute with plain old H 2O to curb the rot.
Other foods like yogurts, smoothies and soups contain lots of water too, so pack some in your lunchbox to make sure your workplace meal plays its part in maintaining your daily water intake. Contrary to popular belief, coffee and tea both ‘count’ as water. They are diuretics (meaning they make you need the toilet more!) but this doesn’t counteract their hydrating properties. They’re packed with caffeine though, so it’s always best to avoid them if possible. On the other side of the coin is alcohol. Boozy drinks are best avoided if you’re trying to increase your water intake, as they can significantly dehydrate you. If you must have a glass of wine or beer, have a glass of water afterwards to replace some of the lost fluids. And it’s always best to complement these hydration methods with a few glasses of pure water, so if you really can’t stand the taste, try adding a sprig of mint or a squirt of lemon juice to make it more palatable.