As the winter days take hold one thing I hear a lot from patients is that they don’t drink as much water in the cooler months.
Dehydration is more of a health risk for the young and older people where it can cause problems like:
Heat injury like heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke which is more likely to occur when exercising or perspiring heavily such as in warmer weather. - urinary tract infections, kidney stones and even kidney failure.
Seizures and loss of consciousness
Low blood volume shock which causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.
Did you know that if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated so having a good habit of drinking fluids over the day is the best way to avoid dehydration and associated risks.
All types of fluids count when we are talking about staying hydrated: tea and coffee, fruit juice, cordial, soft drinks, milky drinks and soups.
Here are some strategies to keep hydrated over the day:
At each meal and snack serve everyone with a large cup of water.. For adults have a cup that holds at least 250ml. Kids 200ml.
Own 2-3 drink bottles so there is always one available at home, work, school and in the exercise bag.
Keep your water within eyesight.
Use an alarm to remind you to stop for a drink.
On cold days add a touch of hot water from the kettle to take the chill off tap water
Sometimes it can be difficult to get your kids to drink enough
A fun way is to drink with them, clink cups and say ‘Cheers!’
Encourage small sips over the day which can also help the body absorb it better and get use to a larger volume slowly rather than passing straight through.
Make water more interesting
Add some zest with citrus fruits like lemon, lime or oranges
Try other fruits like berries, kiwi, pineapple, apple or pear
Maybe herbs like mint, basil or thyme.
Enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee at each meal and between meals.
Try some different herbal teas, with so many different brands out these days you are sure to find a favourite or two!
You can make so many teas from the garden. Each season you can keep adding different flavours making an Everchanging Garden tea. Garden ingredients you can use include:
Leaves such as lemon balm, spearmint or catmint, rosemary, nettle, dandelion, lemon verbena, bee balm, lemon myrtle, rose geranium, lemongrass, thyme and even coriander
Flowers that you can dry and use includ elderflowers, lavender, jasmine, chamomile and the beautiful rosehips.
Roots include tumeric or ginger
Dried lemoon, lime, mandarine peels or zest
Fresh leaf teas you could make from your own garden include spearmint tea, rosemary tea and lemon verberna or lemmongrass - Simply add freshly boiled water over the freshly picked leaves in your mug.
Other hot drinks for variety include Caro/Ecco/Nature’s friend which is a chickory and barley, bonox- a savoury drink, or perhaps carob, hot chocolate or hot malted milk.
Nothing beats the relaxing warming from a freshly made hot cuppa so why not make a point of it. Find a cosy quiet spot to sit, ponder your day and savour the full sensations of your desired hot beverage.