New year, new diet. Sound familiar?
Well, I vowed this year that I would drink more water. At least 3 litres a day. Some days it has been more of a struggle than others. But I have seen such an improvement to so many areas of my body and my life!
That is because the adult human body is made up of around 60% water, the brain and heart more than 70% and lungs over 80%. So it is vital we maintain a large supply of water to the body!
Research suggests staying hydrated reduces your risk of colon and bladder cancer, even potentially breast cancer.
So if there is one thing you change in your daily routine, if there is one thing you improve - let it be this: drink only water, and lots of it!
Ditch the fruit juice, sports drinks, even flavoured water.
Why no fruit juice?
Surely it counts as one of my five-a-day?
Foods from nature require the body to work to break it down. Choose to eat an apple over drinking a glass of apple juice. The body has to work to digest the apple and you end up burning twice as many calories than are in the apple.
Drinking the fruit juice requires little work to process through the human body meaning the calories are absorbed into the body and some will be stored as fat.
You can go deeper and start talking about fructose and fibre and the livers' role in this all, or you can just trust me.
Eat the fruit, drink water.
Why no sports drinks?
Surely sports drinks rehydrate me?
When I go watch my younger brother (15) play a school cricket match it pains me to see how many parents hand their child a sports drink.
Used correctly, sports drinks can be beneficial. For the serious athletes out there, they efficiently replace salt lost in the body and flood it will all the things it desperately needs after a lot of strenuous exercise.
I'd even consider biting my tongue if it was a 70 minute hockey game. But for a sport like cricket where you stand in a field for most of the time (not hating on the sport, I played it to county level!) a sports drink to "refuel" is just giving your body an excess of calories, sodium and sugar it just doesn't require.
People consider them a healthy alternative to sugar-laden fizzy drinks, they are not.
People think they improve athletic performance because they increase energy levels, this can't be proven.
So do me a favour. Put down the sports drinks, drink only water.
Why shouldn't I drink flavoured water?
Isn't flavoured water, just water?
If you can't pronounce even just one ingredient on a "bottle of water" you should put it back on the shelf.
Soft drinks companies are trying to better their reputation by adding flavoured water to their list of products. But all they do is infuse water with sugar and chemicals.
Do me a favour, if drinking water is a chore for you, add slices of your favourite fruit to a bottle of water and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. My favourite is lemon/lime, cucumber and mint!
Leave the flavoured water in the shop and D.I.Y at home!