Water, water, water. Most of us don’t drink enough of it and yet staying hydrated is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The human brain is approximately 75% water and just a 2% drop can impact cognitive function. Our bodies are always using water to feed our vital organs but we also lose water through sweat and urine. That’s why we must drink more water throughout the day. Have you ever felt excessively tired, irritable, lazy or experienced headaches, particularly on a hot day? You’re probably not drinking enough water.
To help you stay hydrated, it’s a great practice to refill a reusable water bottle and take it with you wherever you go. But how much water should you drink every day? As a guideline, health professionals recommend that we drink at least two litres, eight glasses, of water every day but the exact amount of water we should drink varies from person to person and depends on lifestyle too. As a general rule, you should drink more water when you feel thirsty, in the heat, and during and after taking part in intense exercise.
Aside from cognitive and physical health, staying hydrated may also improve metabolic function. Refilling your reusable water bottle and sipping fluids throughout the day might just help you drop a waist size!
There are plenty of types of bottled water available in supermarkets, but drinking water from plastic bottles is bad for our health and bad for the health of the planet. Instead, we can prepare our own types of water at home and refill a reusable stainless steel bottle. Just think of the hundreds of single-use plastic bottles you’ll be keeping out of landfill sites and out of the plastic soup!
What types of water can you refill a reusable water bottle with?
We don’t have to stick to plain old tap water to stay hydrated. There are many sugar-free and healthy types of water and iced teas that we can make at home!
Let’s start with the most obvious! In many countries, the water that comes out of the kitchen tap is filtered, treated, and safe to drink. It’s just as clean as bottled water and, because of strict standards, tap water may even be safer to drink than bottled water. Refilling a reusable FLASKE bottle with free tap water is a smart way to save money and help the environment. And because most of us don’t want to carry a two litre water bottle everywhere we go, there are multiple apps and website that help you refill your reusable water bottle for free or for a minimal fee.
Fruit Infused Water
Add a fruity kick to your water by infusing it with fresh fruits. Fruit-infused water is naturally sweet and rich in vitamins. Although you can infuse water with any fruits, citrus or tropical fruits and berries work best. You can also infuse your water with fresh herbs, such as mint and basil, or add a few slices of cucumber to keep it extra fresh. I always recommend preparing fruit-infused water in advance and refrigerating before transferring it to a thermally insulated water bottle that will keep it cold for hours. Ready to make your own? Check out our fruit infused water recipes.
For anyone who prefers a to add a bit of caffeine to their drinks, homemade iced tea is a delicious alternative to plain water. It’s cheap and easy to make at home or at the office, and you can choose your favourite flavour. Black tea for a bitter taste, earl grey for something more traditional, or green tea for a herbal flavour. Add slices of citrus fruits, peach, or mango for extra flavour. You can prepare a jug of iced tea and leave it to steep in the refrigerator overnight or, for the less organised tea drinkers, fill half a stainless steel water bottle with hot tea, take out the tea bag, then fill to the top with ice.
Electrolyte Infused Water
Electrolytes is the term used to describe minerals that have an electric charge, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphate, bicarbonate, and sodium. Among other things, these minerals help muscles to work effectively, improve cognitive function, and maintain energy levels. Most sports drinks are packed with electrolytes because we lose a lot through sweat. But these drinks are also packed with sugar. That’s why electrolyte gels and sports drinks are recommended for endurance sports, such as marathon running and triathlons, but not for drinking every day.
Drinking homemade electrolyte water is a healthier way to add electrolytes to your diet. Just add half a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate, half a tablespoon of salt, and two tablespoons of sugar or a naturally sweet syrup to one litre of water. Then shake your reusable water bottle to mix the ingredients. That will see you through your next workout!
Alkaline water is nothing new when it comes to health trends, but it’s not something you see stocked on every shelf. Alkaline water has a PH level around 8 or 9; tap water usually has a PH level around 7. Like electrolyte infused water, it's popular with athletes, and can make you feel more energised throughout your day and post-workout. Some research suggests that drinking water with a high PH level can improve workout performance and help your body retain electrolytes. You therefore stay hydrated for longer.
There’s no need to splash out on expensive alkaline water because you can make your own by adding PH drops or a pinch of soda bicarbonate to your reusable water bottle. Alternatively, you can add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water. Although acidic, lemon and lime juices produce alkaline byproducts when digested. Staying hydrated couldn’t be easier!
Staying hydrated is essential but you don’t have to drink plain tap water all the time. What will you fill your reusable water bottle with?