OK, so you’ve heard it all before…”it’s important to stay hydrated” and though we all start with the best intentions, the realities and practicalities invariably kick in and send us off track. Our bodies are made up of almost 2/3rds water and let’s face it that’s significant for many reasons! It helps transport nutrients to vital organs, removes toxins and waste products, helps transmit vital electrical messages between cells, controls body temperature and helps digestion. No wonder dehydration causes headaches, fatigue and irritability, not to mention lack of concentration.
Sadly while we may want to just drink water, many of us find that drinking only this is a little boring after a while. So, the chances are you’re not drinking enough. But the good news is water isn’t your only choice. While it is best to avoid beverages that pack the calories without the beneficial nutrients, other more healthy drinks like fruit juices, smoothies, herbal teas and fat free milk, can all help towards your hydration target.
How much should I be drinking to stay hydrated?
There is no specific guideline, as this does depend greatly on the physique of an individual, how much activity they do, age and gender. However as a good steer the NHS Eat Well guidelines*1 suggests we should drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Knowing whether this is right for you is sometimes difficult to determine, but there are a number of Hydration Calculators online that can help or you can just do the simple Urine Colour Test to gauge whether you should be drinking more such as this one from the NHS – https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/hydration#what-are-the-signs-and-symptoms-of-dehydration
What more can be done to keep people hydrated?
Heightened health concerns and media awareness has meant that people are now very aware of what they are eating, and more importantly drinking. While water remains a staple this does not need to be to the exclusion of other drinks. Juices and smoothies with their fibre content still deliver a natural solution to help contribute to people’s hydration levels. While diversity can be added with low sugar juice drinks, such as Oranka’s Hydration Juice which is also high in Vitamin C. Familiar flavours like orange and apple are supplemented with seasonal variety such as elderflower and blackcurrant or more intriguing ones such as green tea and lemon, rhubarb or peach. Generally, these juice drinks are also naturally lower in sugar and high in vitamin C, so venues are able to offer enticing flavours, while also responding to concerns about sugar content. This range of drinks also works brilliantly in the care home setting. Seasonal flavours are proving to be particularly appealing to even the most reticent of drinkers, with all residents generally being better hydrated.
Make it look appealing
Reflecting on the High Street, presentation is an integral part of your offering. More and more of us are curious about what we are consuming and what we can gain from it. While the responsibility obviously lies with the individual to make healthier hydration selections, there is also an onus on venues to offer the range and information to enable people to make sensible choices. This could be a self-service set-up from modern chilled glass dispensers, stylish wooden juice cubes or grab ‘n’ go options; all of which can add to the appeal and encourage people to improve their hydration. These work particularly well when combined with a range of point of sale materials or menu boards to highlight the many additional benefits a particular drink can deliver, aside from simply boosting hydration.
Being well hydrated and encouraging people to increase their monthly fluid intake WILL help people feel healthier, more energised and more likely to achieve their potential.
The comments and thoughts in this post don’t necessarily represent those of Elior and are not endorsed but represent the thoughts and comments of the contributors.