Monday, 15 July 2013

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink...

Despite the weather being beautiful lately, it’s incredibly important to stay hydrated. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water, with each one of our internal systems depending on water. Water is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails, as well as controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Feeling irritable, headaches, thirst, dizziness, dry mouth, lips and eyes and urinating infrequently are all early symptoms of dehydration. Can you honestly say over the past two weeks of hot weather you haven’t experienced any of these?  Well take into consideration, it eventually leading to more serious outcomes including a weak pulse, rapid heartbeat damage to internal organs, coma and even death, if it is left.

In this blog, we’re going to look at easy ways to stay hydrated, and the benefits, both on the inside and on the outside, starting with staying hydrated:

1.       Keep the fruit coming – Fruit is rich source of water, in particular melon, oranges and grapefruit. A good tip is to freeze fruit and use them as ice cubes to keep drinks cool, it looks and tastes great!

2.       Have raw veggies with your dips – Although not quite as rich in water as some fruit, vegetables can also be a good source of fluid, vitamins minerals and fibre. Why not try raw peppers, celery and carrot sticks instead of salty crisps with your summer dips?

3.       Try a smoothie – Frequently the hot weather can suppress our appetites, so why not instead enjoy an iced smoothie? To keep it cool, add a handful of frozen berries, all the goodness of fresh berries, but half the price and lasts for months!

4.       Complement alcoholic drinks with large glasses of water – Alcohol causes dehydration, and although it’s lovely to enjoy a jug of Pimms in the sun, it will dehydrate you very quickly. So alternate alcoholic drinks with hydrating ones. Also helps with the hangover the next day!

5.       Keep a good supply of cool water to hand – often the heat can tire you out, and it’s that fatigue that can discourage you from going and fetching the hydration you need. Studies have shown that having it to hand can encourage people to subconsciously drink more.

Staying hydrated in the hot weather can decrease fatigue, increase concentration and keep you active. Keeping well hydrated is great for keeping all your internal organs healthy and working at an optimal level; in addition it keeps your skin and lips looking full and bright, and can keep your nails in good condition.

The question of how much you should drink a day is a tricky one. Us dietitians have many tricks and calculations up our sleeves taking into account body weight, temperature and medical conditions, but all that fancy math aside, as a rough guide the best advice I can give, is to make sure you are taking in enough fluid to pass light coloured/clear urine frequently. Easy-peasy! Now time for a recipe…

‘Smoothie Lollies’

What you’ll need:

Ice lolly moulds
2 medium bananas
Low fat vanilla yoghurt
Some mixed frozen berries (available in most supermarkets at the end of the frozen dessert aisles)

1.       Roughly cut up the bananas and add to the blender along with the berries and yoghurt and blend until smooth.

2.       Pour into the moulds and leave to freeze, then enjoy!

To make this recipe low fat, try swopping the yoghurt for skimmed milk and vanilla pods, and have some fun adding in a few vegetables and trying different mixes of the fruit. It’s a great homemade treat guaranteed to impress your friends, and if you’re like me and can’t stand waste, it’s a great way to use up any left over fruit!





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