Beauty / Wellbeing

Hydrate right

The average human body is made up of 60 per cent water so as you can imagine, paying close attention to water intake is critical. Water is not only required to quench thirst but is also important for muscle function and metabolism, fluid balance, transporting nutrients around the body, aiding digestion and assisting concentration and short term memory, to name a few. In fact, as little as two per cent water loss can have negative effects on mental function and performance.

Our requirements for water are individual and will vary depending on weather, age, level of activity, health state and alcohol or coffee intake. Solid food is believed to contribute approximately 20 per cent of total water intake, with the remaining 80 per cent coming from water and other fluids. But while it may be tempting to forgo water in place of foods with high water content, your total dietary intake of food would need to be significantly increased. Foods with high water content include milk, yoghurt, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, radish, capsicum and zucchini. Unlike water, such foods contain energy - so getting your required water intake from food alone is an energy-expensive activity, which may come with a side of discomfort.

The best compromise: to drink water regularly and supplement your daily water intake with high water content foods, including smoothies that combine the two.

“Our requirements for water will vary depending on weather, age, level of activity, health state and alcohol or coffee intake."

Morning green frappe
Serves 2
V: DF: GF 

1 cup coconut water
1 cup kale leaves
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup cucumber
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup ice
1 lime

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth.
Serve in a chilled glass with a squeeze of lime.
Tip: for a more substantial meal try adding a frozen banana.

Zoe Bingley-Pullin is a qualified nutritionist and chef. Recipe from Falling in Love with Food.