“Water is the one of the most important habits to make when making a healthy change and lifestyle. The body functions more efficiently and better when you’re hydrated.” — Certified Nutritional Practitioner, BASc (Hons), ROHP, RNCP, Kelly Carter
Why is water important?
Up to 75% of the human body is made up of water. Water plays an important role in digestion from start to finish as it is the major component of salvia, utilized in the body’s digestive mechanisms and is required to excrete waste from our body. Water is also the major component of our cells, regulates body temperature, transports nutrients throughout the body and is necessary for our body’s chemical reactions.
What happens when we don’t get enough water?
Here are a few side effects when we are under hydrated:
- Impairs cognitive function (i.e. attention, executive function and motor coordination)
- Contributes to negative mood (i.e. anger, hostility, confusion and tension)
- Can cause fatigue and headaches
- Decreases physical performance
- Chronic mild dehydration can contribute to increasing the risk of constipation, urinary tract infections, hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke
How much water do I need to drink?
The amount of water that we require varies depending on various factors including age, gender, height, muscle mass, physical activity and even climate. Kelly Carter, a certified nutritional practitioner, recommends you start with 8 glasses or 2L of water per day and experiment to see how much water works best for your body and activities.
Watch our LIVE Session with Kelly Carter
We sat down with certified nutrition practitioner, Kelly Carter for an Instagram Live about Hydration. Watch the video to get the full scoop about the importance of hydration and easy tips for staying hydrated.
8 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated
1. Carry a water bottle
This one is an easy one! The easier it is for you to reach for water, the easier it will be for you to drink water throughout the day. It’s all about making water as accessible as possible. The more steps it takes you to grab a glass of water, the less likely will you hydrate.
2. Add fruits to your water
Water is great on its own, but sometimes you just need that extra burst of flavour. Try adding in lemon slices, cucumbers or raspberries, and see the world of difference it can make! You can get creative and mix and match different fruit flavours too – maybe even try adding some chia seeds.
3. Use Elastic bands to keep track of water intake
Nutritionist Kelly Carter has an easy visual way to track how much water you are drinking throughout the day. Use elastic bands on your water bottle! If your goal is to drink your water bottle 3 times, place 3 elastic bands around the lower half of the bottle. Each time you drink a bottle of water, simply move the elastic band up so you can see how much you have left to drink.
4. Drink Herbal Teas
Herbal tea is the only drink alternative that hydrates as well as water. Unlike juice, coffee and milk, herbal teas do not contain heavy nutrients that require a lot of water to digest.
“When you’re drinking coffee, your body dehydrates itself to extract all the nutrition and caffeine from it”, RNCP Kelly Carter explains. “The only other beverage I count as water is herbal tea.”
The simplicity in herbal teas allows you to retain water in your body rather than expend. Even more, herbal teas give you additional nutrients and healing benefits from the herbs while staying hydrated.
Turmeric Teas is a Canadian organic tea company that combines the hydrating effects of herbal teas with the healing benefits of turmeric in every sip. All 3 of Turmeric Teas’ herbal blends are held as Toronto’s Best Herbal Teas at the 2020 Toronto Tea Festival.
Download Printable Infographic
Click here to download 8 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated printable infographic.
5. Drink every 45 minutes
Create a rhythm for your water intake. RNCP Kelly Carter recommends to drink 1 cup (250mL) of water every 45 minutes. You can use a timer on your phone to remind yourself. This consistency will take you a long way. Your body will thank you for it!
6. Before and after meals
Another way to increase hydration is to drink water before and after a meal. The body uses a lot of water during the digestive process, “it basically dehydrates,” RNCP Kelly Carter explains. So, drinking water around meals will keep your body hydrated in the process.
7. Drink 1L of water to start your day
“The best thing I ever did for my health is drink 1L of water before I do anything. I feel fantastic, even on cold winter days.” – RNCP Kelly Carter.
Drinking 1L of water in the morning flushes everything out to start the day. It’s recommended to drink room temperature or warm water. Water temperatures close to your body’s temperature are generally better, as cold water can feel like a shock to the body.
8. Increase fruits and vegetables in diet
Choose foods that hydrate! Fruits and vegetables have a water content between 40-70%. Simply switching out savoury snacks and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can easily increase the amount of water you consume.
More about Kelly Carter
Kelly also offers a FREE Masterclass for sustained fat loss and healthy living through realistic changes and One-on-One Transformational Coaching in addition to her Fat Loss Food Freedom Lifestyle Program. Learn more about Kelly Carter and her programs here. Kelly Carter is the founder and architect of the Food Loss Food Freedom lifestyle program to help her clients lose weight, maintain fat loss and work towards sustainable health and happiness balance. As your personal nutrition coach, Kelly creates custom food plans that are tailored towards each clients’ goals and circumstances focusing on making true change to your lifestyle that work for you.