Use fun containers like mason jars and add some fruit or vegetables to your water to make drinking it more appealing.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
ITS benefits are well known, yet many people struggle to meet the daily recommended intake of water.
According to health professionals, on average, a normal adult needs a minimum of eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily, which equals about half a gallon; a child needs about four to six cups, depending on weight.
However, a person’s need for water is based on activities, the more active they are, the more water we need.
This also goes for people taking medication and nutrition supplements, as they will need at least 10 cups daily, said Shandera Smith, a representative of the Nutrition Unit at the Department of Public Health.
“Water is actually an essential nutrient. However, depending on the type of water, certain minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium may be in it. It’s pretty simple to determine whether or not if water intake is sufficient,” said Ms Smith.
“Check the colour of your urine. If it is a pale yellow or straw colour, you are getting enough. If it is a bright or dark yellow, you are dehydrated. Certain medications and supplements may discolour urine, but still drink enough.”
Drinking the recommended amount of water maintains good hydration, helps with concentration, prevents and relieves headaches, keeps joints lubricated, maintains body temperature, helps to prevent urinary and kidney infections, keeps skin healthy, strengthens the immune system and more.
“Many people complain about the taste of water. It has no colour, it’s bland or has almost no taste; that is just the nature of water. Perhaps because persons have been introduced to other sugar sweetened beverages at an early age instead of water, it becomes a very unattractive choice. Also, because of the availability and accessibility of so many other types of beverages, water is not considered a viable choice even though it provides so many health-promoting and life-saving benefits. If water wasn’t the way it is, then it would not provide the benefits it does,” she said.
Drinking water doesn’t have to feel like a chore; there are many things you can do to turn it into a fun habit. Here is what Ms Smith suggests:
• Have fruit-infused water. Add your favourite fruit, even vegetables like cucumbers, spices like cinnamon and herbs like mint. They add some delicious flavours along with many health benefits.
• Carry a water container. Purchase an attractive water bottle (at least 32 oz), mason jar or any type of container you wish and put it in eye view so you can be mindful of your need to drink water. Enjoy at least one refill it throughout the day.
• Use water enhancers. These are similar to fruit infusions, giving water a delicious flavour helping you to drink even more.
• Purchase colourful and fun straws. It makes you want to use them, thus helping you to increase your intake of water.
• Have a competition. Challenge your family members, co-workers, church family to drink more water. Offer incentives and rewards.
• Have carbonated water. It gives you the feeling of drinking other beverages you may be accustomed to without the added sweeteners and calories.
• Download and use a drink water app. This is a good tool to help you remember to drink water periodically throughout the day. You may also put up signs where you frequent to help you remember to drink more water.