An adult is able to survive weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Water makes up 50-75% of the human body weight.
The amount of water needed daily varies between individuals, it depends on factors such as body size, age, sex, physical activity, environmental conditions, health conditions (e.g., diabetes) and the type of food consumed.
In Malta, the Food and Agriculture Organisation recommends that individuals consume a minimum of 1.5 - 2 litres of water daily.
Water plays several roles within the body, it transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, regulates the body temperature, aids digestion and is essential to excrete waste from the body.
Moreover, water improves physical performance as it impacts endurance, strength, and energy levels.
Additionally, hydration is essential to aid brain function as mild dehydration negatively impacts mood, short-term memory, alertness, and focus.
Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include light-headedness, fatigue, headaches, dry skin etc.
Overall, it is important to consume enough water daily, and to include a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.
The following are tips on how to increase water intake, and how to naturally flavour beverages in a delicious way.
Tips to increase water intake
Carry a reusable bottle with you, add water, ice, fresh lime/orange wedges, mint leaves etc...
2. Home-made fusions
Make home-made iced tea by adding hot water to a jar, teabags (black tea) and maple syrup/honey.
Refrigerate for 2 hours and remove the tea bags. Serve with ice and lemon slices.
3. Fresh juices and smoothies
Choose fresh juices and smoothies. Avoid sugary drinks (e.g., soft drinks and energy drinks) these are acidic, contain artificial colourings and are rich in sugar.
Make fruit and herb ice-cubes and add to a glass of water.
5. Water rich foods
Include water rich foods in meals such as peaches, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens etc...