Mission Hydrate: Do You Drink Enough Water?

There are plenty of signs to suggest that you're dehydrated. Headaches, irritability, weakness, cravings for sugar and salt, dizzy spells, dark urine, a dry mouth, nausea and even vomiting are common ones.

This is ridiculous. "Mission hydrate" starts right now.

Last Sunday, Somewhere between the morning of balcony hanging (coffee in hand) watching the marathoners run by and the lazy afternoon rounds of Pinot Noir, French Martinis and salty Margheritas, I asked my hungover friends;

Does anyone here drink water?

"Water"? they said. What do you mean, like, how much have we drunk today?"

"No, I replied. Like, ever?"

Shock was closely followed by a strict lesson in human movement and from my sketchy memory (yes another effect of not drinking enough water); there were even some googled images of the food pyramid to lay before me. In truth, I hadn't thought about the food pyramid since Happy Healthy Harold The Giraffe visited my Sydney primary school in his travelling campervan. (no doubt full of riveting amusements such as water).

Body lesson number one. Body is made of water. Body therefore likes water.

Having competed as an elite athlete for most of my life means that I'm quite well versed on the ins and outs of nutrition (my squad each had their own personal nutritionist at one point or another) but what I've always struggled with is the want for water.

You see, I never feel thirst.

After the question was posed and I couldn't take it back, there showed no signs of it slowing down. "No, I said. I understand that we're MEANT to drink water (although I'm sceptical about some figures suggesting just how much) but, do you notice a difference in your day-to-day lives when you go without for a day?"

"Yes!!" was the general consensus.

"I drink at least 2 litres every day" said one mate proudly.

"I'm always thirsty and therefore drinking most of the day said another, - I just feel sluggish when I go without it".

I thought about this for a few moments. I never see anyone walking along in London with a bottle of water. Who are these people and where are they hiding?!

It was at this point I turned to the waiter and asked for a glass of sparkling water. I sat embarrassed as I slowly and painfully sipped my way through it.

You see, between the 4 or 5 cups of espressos and cappuccinos I consume on a daily basis, plus the 'sometimes' afternoon relaxer wine I have while getting ready for the fashion event in the evening, (which by the way is quite usually an open bar) I can't honestly tell you when I last craved a glass of water.

Sure I drink juice, and other such liquids that mask us from the bores of water but I'm guessing that not having a pure, straight up glass of water each and every day may end up causing me some issues further down the line in my old age - if I make it that far.

Of course it's a horrible catch-22 because apparently not feeling thirst-like-ever, is a sure enough sign to suggest that you're not overly healthy, or at the very least, your body isn't working at an optimal level and yet 'they' (scary health bodies) say once you feel thirst - you're already dehydrated. It's your body's way of letting you know you are out of water and it might quite like some of it back.

Why doesn't my body tell me?!

There are plenty of signs to suggest that you're dehydrated. Headaches, irritability, weakness, cravings for sugar and salt, dizzy spells, dark urine, a dry mouth, nausea and even vomiting are common ones.

But, you ask. How much should we drink? (Taking into consideration that peeing every hour is a huge inconvenience to your day, and probably to your job and boss).

Most health experts are now recommending that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. There are approximately 33 ounces in a litre.

By this theory, I'm meant to be drinking around a litre a day - yet I'm lucky to get in a glass a week and it's been the same story since I was a little girl.

My swimming coach even managed to get me to eat a fillet steak at 4 of a morning, yet the daily ritual of water drinking (I had to have a full bottle mockingly by the side of the pool), was challenging to say the least. I recall extra lap punishments for every session I finished without an empty bottle.

So, if you're like me and a glass of Rioja is far more appealing than a glass of H20, what's the best way to get in that litre of water each day?

Just think slow and steady.

According to recent research, sipping 1 to 2 ounces at a time is the best way to effectively hydrate your body. If you gulp it down, you may dilute your blood and actually cause your kidneys to excrete more water.

Try drinking before, during and after exercise and between bites in your meal.

I assume that like incidental activity, us water dodging freaks need to do a certain amount of incidental hydrating.

Next time you see me at Starbucks, remind me to get a water to go and support Anne in her "mission hydrate".