OPINION: The Health and Wellbeing column with Mel Spencer – Try having a water of bottle to hand at all times

Approximately 60% of the human body is water. We depend on it for our survival so drinking enough each day is essential.

Personal trainer Mel Spencer.

Approximately 60% of the human body is water. We depend on it for our survival so drinking enough each day is essential.

Water serves numerous purposes including temperature regulation, keeping joints lubricated, delivering nutrients to cells and keeping organs functioning properly.

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It also aids sleep, cognition and mood.

Keep hydrating, you will feel better for it. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

If you don’t drink enough fluids, you may become dehydrated meaning your body doesn’t have enough fluid to function properly.

Signs of dehydration include darker than usual urine, a dry mouth, fatigue, headache, confusion and dizziness.

The big question is always how much and what types of drinks are best?

In terms of how much, different people need differing amounts to remain hydrated.

We hear two litres or eight glasses mentioned a lot but as a general rule of thumb your urine is the best indicator of hydration.

If it’s colourless or light yellow, you’re well hydrated.

If your urine is a dark yellow or amber colour, you may be dehydrated.

When it comes to what’s the best beverage from a hydration perspective plain water comes out on top.

However, other drinks – and foods – help too.

Even caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee are included as although caffeine is a mild diuretic, the fluid gained outweighs the mild dehydrating effect.

Alcohol is a diuretic and does make you lose more water than you consume.

Although dehydration isn’t the main cause of hangovers, it is a contributing factor and can cause symptoms such as thirst, fatigue and headaches.

A tip for the festive season to help to reduce hangovers is to try and drink water in between alcoholic drinks and have a glass of water before going to bed.

Thirst alone is not a marker for hydration levels as by the time we feel thirst our body is already dehydrated, so keep taking on fluids regularly throughout the day.

Try having a water of bottle to hand at all times and sip often throughout the day.

You can even get apps on your phone that prompt you when to drink if you tend to forget!

If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can always add flavour with fruit such as lemon, lime etc.

Green tea is another really good one and one of my favourites. Keep hydrating, you will feel better for it!

If you have any questions, you can contact Mel at www.melspencerpt.co.uk.