Incredibly, about 60% of the human body is made up of water – whilst three quarters of our brain is made up of the vital stuff. We lose water from our bodies throughout the day, from sweating, urinating and other activities. But, did you know that a loss of 7% of the water content in your body can lead to hallucinations and a reduction of 10% can even lead to death?
So, you can see how very important it is to keep hydrated! This is especially true when you’re studying. It can be hard to stay focused when you’re thirsty, but also in terms of your brain absorbing new information – this process can be hindered if you’re not adequately hydrated.
How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?
The easiest way to tell whether you’re dehydrated is to monitor the colour of your urine. It’s normal for this to be a light yellow colour. If yours is dark orange or yellow, this is a good indication that you need to increase your intake of fluids.
What’s the best drink to hydrate you quickly?
Water is the best option to hydrate you quickly. You could try adding a dash of sugar-free or low sugar squash into glasses of water to liven up the taste if you don’t enjoy it as it comes. Having a moderate quantity of tea (3-4 cups a day) would also help to top up your intake. If you enjoy drinking milk, this is comprised of 80% water and would be another good alternative. Avoid drinking too many sugary drinks or energy drinks as these are often laden with calories and a dehydrating quantity of caffeine.
Top tips to stay hydrated
- You can top up your fluid intake by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables at mealtimes. Cucumber has 96.7% water content; broccoli has 90.7%; strawberries 91% and watermelon 91.5%.
- Buy a bottle or container which shows how much water you’re drinking throughout the day so you can monitor it.
- If you’re a tea or coffee fiend, keep fruit or herbal tea on hand so you can mix up your intake of hot drinks with ones that are low in caffeine.
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up to kick-start the rehydration process after a long nights’ sleep.
Realising how you like to drink is important too – for example, you may dislike drinking water at room temperature but will happily have it if it’s chilled. You may dislike drinking out of see-through containers, but enjoy sipping from a ceramic mug. Pay attention to your habits and preferences and you’ll be well on the way to staying hydrated throughout your day (especially whilst you study!).