I think most people are aware of the benefits of drinking plenty of water - alertness, clearer skin, weight control and more energy to name just a few. The recommended intake is eight glasses per day. So simple. Yet why do so many of us (myself included) fail to do this?
For me, not drinking enough water is usually accompanied by drinking too much coffee. The inevitable result is a blinding headache. I curse myself for the stupidity of this but know without a doubt that it will happen again. It ought not to be too difficult to choose a nice refreshing glass of water over a hot beverage but somehow I find myself reaching for the kettle and promising that next time I'll opt for the healthier alternative.
I do find it easier to get closer to my eight glasses a day if I carry bottled water with me and drink little and often. Of course the method is only effective if you actually get that bottle of water and carry it with you. I always have a stock of it on the floor of my larder but there are many more days that pass by without me doing it than with.
If I fail to hydrate adequately, it is very noticeable when I exercise. When I run, I get the feeling in my mouth like I've been licking gummed envelopes. Lots of gummed envelopes! It is unpleasant and it does make it harder to breathe efficiently. I run slower. I enjoy it less. If I am going on a long run or it is particularly warm I do take water with me to avoid this. There are belts designed to carry small sports bottles but my preference is to simply carry a bottle in my hand. At first, I found the sloshing of it with every step a little off putting but have since come to enjoy the gentle sounds and fluid motion. It can be quite relaxing and help me find a rhythm that maintains a good pace. Even so, running unencumbered is still my first choice.
This Saturday, I am going to be running The Race for Life. It is all about taking part rather than trying to go as fast as possible and I am going to be running with my daughter who is recovering from an knee injury. We are anticipating an easy pace. However, even an easy pace makes demands of your body when you maintain it over five kilometres. The Race for Life is sponsored by Aqua Pura and I know that I will be well and truly ready for the bottle handed to you as you cross the finish line. Nothing tastes better than that first mouthful after you have exerted yourself.
I'm going to try really hard to hold onto that good feeling to remind me to drink more water everyday. I know I'll never be ready to dispense with my kettle completely but I can at least aim for a better balance. I know my body will thank me for it.