When it comes to Hydration, we all know that we SHOULD drink 6-8 glasses of water a day so why is it so hard for some of us to do?  For me, understanding why it is important and what it does for my health, helped me to decide that I needed to focus on embedding the habit of drinking enough water every single day.

By the way, did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated? The impact of dehydration could lead to headaches & lightheadedness, bad breath, dry mouth, constipation and digestive issues, fatigue and lethargy, joint & muscle pain or even accelerated heartbeat.  These symptoms, if caused by dehydration, can be so easily avoided by making a few tweaks and changes to our daily habits and rituals.

Staying hydrated also offers many health benefits including maintaining fluid balance in the blood, providing fuel for muscles, clearing the skin, offering a productivity boost, removing of toxins, greasing your joints, boosting your brain power, normalizing blood pH and increasing energy. I’m pretty sure that we all would like to experience those benefits and hydrating is one basic way that we can empower ourselves to take responsibility for our own health!  So, here are four tips that I hope will help you, if you are wondering where to start:

Make it a habit to pick up a glass first thing when you go to the kitchen in the morning and fill it with water to drink before breakfast.  When you make a point of repeating this every day for a couple of weeks, it will become like muscle memory and you will then do it without effort.  We don’t, or wouldn’t, forget to brush our teeth in the morning, so think of your first glass of water in these terms.  When you drink water first thing, you are getting a head start on your intake as well as stimulating your digestive system.
Fill your water bottle the night before and leave it in the fridge, ready to grab on your way out the door.  Try to get a water bottle that holds 750ml and sip this throughout the morning.  Together with your first glass before breakfast, you will have drunk a litre before lunch!
Drink a mug of herbal tea after your lunch and again after your dinner in the evening, as they also contribute to your hydration (list below to help you choose one)
Drink another glass as soon as you arrive home after work

If you make a habit of any of the above, you will be well on your way to maintaining a basic healthy hydration level.

Herbal Teas

Herbal Teas are a great way of contributing to your daily intake of fluid and they also have some

 amazing added health benefits.  There are many amazing tea blends, but for the purposes of getting you started, I am going to focus on four which are available widely.

Green Tea

Green tea is full of anti-oxidants, which means that it is anti-ageing and helps to protect against disease.  It also supports increasing our metabolism.  It contains some caffeine but less than black tea and much less than coffee.


Chamomile is a great tea to drink in the evening or if you are feeling anxious.  It is very calming and so supports better sleep, reducing cramps and reducing anxiety.  

Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea is fantastic for our digestion and can help relieve bloating and reduce inflammation.  It can also help relieve morning sickness in pregnancy or general tummy upsets.  It can be very comforting and relieving if you are suffering from menstrual or muscle cramps.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is lovely and refreshing and can help relieve nausea and is a decongestant.

There are also some amazing new herbal tea companies who make fabulous blends and would highly recommend checking them out.  For example, Roisin from Health Tea in Bawnboy, Co Cavan https://www.healthtea.ie/

NB If you have been diagnosed with a condition that requires medication, consult your doctor before consuming teas for medicinal purposes, in case there are contraindications.

Anyway, I hope that you feel empowered to take another step towards good health by considering your hydration.  It is said that we can survive for forty days without food but only four days without water so if you are thinking about improving your nutrition, I would highly recommend starting by embedding your good hydration habits.  This will improve your energy, helping you to then make better food choices

Reference List

Pizzorno JE, Murray MT, Pizzorno L, 2005, The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods, Great Britain, Time Warner Books

Lyn Sharkey Nutrition
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