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It’s time to raise a glass to looking and feeling good 

Hydration is the key to success with any weight loss programme and nothing hydrates you better than plain water. Even though it is not officially a nutrient, it is essential to our health and, despite media stories highlighting how important water is, most of us still don’t drink enough of it.

According to the HSE, Irish people need to drink about 1.2 litres (6-8 glasses) of water a day to prevent dehydration. Athletes who sweat a lot and people in hotter climates need more.

Dehydration causes fatigue and lethargy, so your energy levels suffer and you’re less likely to want to exercise. By making sure you get enough water every day, you may be surprised at how much more alert, energised and focused you feel.

Water is particularly important when you’re trying to achieve a healthy weight loss, as it improves the digestive system so that fats are eliminated from the body more efficiently. It also reduces fluid retention and decreases the appetite. In fact, people often mistake thirst for hunger, so if you feel like a snack, try first drinking a glass of water. Very often, this satisfies the craving and stops you reaching for calories you don’t need.

Water will help you look better too, as it helps to flush out toxins, keep your skin clear and reduce the signs of ageing, so drink plenty, especially in the winter months when central heating can dehydrate you quickly.

You know why water is so important, but do you remember to drink enough every day? If not, set yourself a goal to make a healthy water intake part of your daily routine.

Top tips to get your daily water intake:

  • Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go. If you have a bottle with you at all times you are more likely to sip from it during the day. Don’t forget to fill it up at every opportunity.
  • Build it into your daily routine. Drink a glass of water on waking, have another at your desk, before mealtimes and so on throughout your day.
  • Drink water before you exercise. This will replace fluid lost through sweating.
  • Give it some zing! Add a slice of lemon or lime to a glass of water – a refreshing pick-me-up first thing in the morning!
  • Go herbal. Unlike regular tea and coffee, herbal teas are not dehydrating and with such a wide variety to choose from, this can be a great way to get your daily fluid intake without any sugar or calories.
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