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3 Easy Tips To Help You Drink More Water

Plus how much you should be drinking per day.

27/09/2017 7:30 AM AEST | Updated 27/09/2017 7:45 AM AEST
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How much water you drink depends on lots of factors, including how active you are.

'Why is drinking eight glasses of water a day so hard, but eight glasses of wine with dinner so easy?'

You may or may not have seen this quote floating around the internet, but regardless, it makes a pretty valid point. Who else has happily swilled wine or Diet Coke or tea by the bucket load, yet struggled to meet their daily water quota?

Never fear. There are plenty of ways to make drinking water easier, and none of them involve you forking out for a never-ending supply of Evian. Before we get onto those, however, let's ask the question...

How much water should I be drinking?

"My stance on this might be a bit of a different take from others', but I think some people have become too carried away with the idea of 'the more water the better'. I just want to clarify you can have too much water, and that we all need different amounts of water depending on our body size and how active you are," nutritionist Fiona Tuck told HuffPost Australia.

"There is actually no active set water intake level people should have, and it's definitely not three or four litres, unless you are a big person and very, very active."

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Tuck points out the reason why drinking water is important is so it replaces the fluid we lose during the day, and thus the amount we need to drink is directly relative to how much we are expending.

"We lose fluid by sweating or urinating, or if you've been sick or had a tummy bug, then you will need more fluid than normal," she said. "But on average, most people lose 1.5 litres per day.

"You can definitely overdose on water. Too much can dilute your blood and affect your electrolyte balance. If you drink too much water it can also put your blood pressure up."

How do I tell if I'm drinking enough/too much water?

The answer to this is pretty simple: it's all in the colour of your wee.

"The easiest way to tell if you are having enough or not enough fluid is to go by the colour of your urine," Tuck said. "It should be a pale straw colour.

"If it's dark, it means you're dehydrated. If it's completely clear, that's not a good thing either because it's too diluted.

"I mean, I want to make the point that water in general is good. We need it for healthy digestion. If, for instance, someone constipated, this can be due to not having enough fibre in the diet, but it also could be because the person is not drinking enough water to soften everything and flush it through."

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We also get fluid from the foods that we eat.

Fluid from other sources

It's also important to note water isn't the only source of fluid for your body (and no, we're not talking about replacing it with Vanilla Coke).

"You do get fluid from milk and fruit and vegetables, and even from your natural digestive process," Tuck said.

"It's actually interesting how, in the warmer months, nature provides more fruit with a high water content. Things like watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce... all of these have high water content.

"Not that I'm advocating to get your water solely from foods, but it can be beneficial to eat seasonally."

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Sweating is one way in which we lose fluid.

How to drink more water

If you're one of those people who definitely does need to up their water intake, but finds it difficult to drink, Tuck has a couple of tricks up her sleeve to help make the process easier.

1. Keep it within reach

Much like the wine bottle sitting on the table at dinner, you will be more likely to drink more water if it's easily accessible.

"Have it on your desk. If it's there, you're more likely to drink it," Tuck said. "I know personally, if my water bottle has run out and I don't have time to refill it, I will find myself feeling dehydrated later in the day. But if it was there, I would have drunk a litre or half a litre easily.

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Keep water on your desk to remind you to rehydrate at work.

"I also think it's good to have a glass of water by your bed at nighttime. For me, I know if it's there I'll wake up and have water but if it isn't, I might forget about it.

"Basically I think we just love convenience. The easier it is the more we'll do it. If you just have a bottle of wine on the table and no water, guess what we're going to drink?"

2. Add flavour

If plain old water is simply too bland for you, try adding some chopped fruit and herbs, or make flavoured ice cubes.

"Cutting up a passion fruit and putting it in water is one of my favourite things to do. It tastes like a proper passionfruit drink," Tuck said. "You can also add mint and a slice of lemon or orange.

"That makes a really refreshing low calorie drink that's really hydrating and isn't an effort to drink.

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"Another idea is to jazz your ice cubes up by freezing a raspberry or little sprig of mint in the ice cube tray. That way you're more likely to use them.

"If you get really stuck, try diluting fruit juice. By diluting it with water, it will not only make it go further, but it means you'll drink more water rather than the concentrated sugar from the juice."

3. Embrace herbal teas

"Herbal teas are a fantastic way to increase your water intake, though you should try not to have too much green tea or traditional black tea as they are caffeinated," Tuck said.

"Teas such as peppermint or chamomile are a really wonderful way to get water into the body that isn't just plain drinking water.

"And in terms of the summer months, just make your herbal tea, let it cool and then add ice and have it as an iced tea. You can get quite creative with water."

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