Are you drinking water right?

Seems like an odd question, right? How hard is it to drink water?

Well, it seems there is a right way to drink water. Here’s our guide to get the most out of your hydration.

Contain yourself

Don’t drink out of containers made with bisphenol A (BPA). Many plastic bottles contain BPA, which has been used to make plastics and resins since the 1950s.

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Research has found it can seep into food or drinks, exposing us to possible health effects on the brain and prostate glands of foetuses, infants and children. There might even be a link between increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Very low levels are okay, but try to cut your use to a minimum.

Instead of plastic bottles, choose glass, porcelain or stainless steel instead. Many manufacturers are also making a point of offering BPA-free products.

And try to avoid microwaving plastic containers as heat may make them break down quicker.

Cold, hard truth

Cold water does nothing more than cool you down. It does not improve digestion or require more calories to absorb. Drinking cold water is nothing more than a preference, there are no health benefits other than rehydration.

Adding fruit

Make sure any fruit or vegetables you add to water are clean, preferably after a good scrub.

For most fruit and vegetables, the foodborne bacteria will be on the surface. Slicing into it pushes the bacteria into the rest of the fruit, then putting it into water swishes it around into the whole beverage.

Fruit and vegetables in water look great and can add terrific, natural flavour, but just make sure you clean anything under running water before you add it to your drink.

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The other type of drinking

Always have a glass of water handy if you are drinking alcohol.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it prompts your body to make more urine, which can quickly lead to dehydration.

Haven’t we all woken up after one too many with the feeling the Sahara Desert has somehow transported itself to our mouths?

To avoid that experience, try to match each alcoholic drink with water to avoid waking up with a head full of banging chisels.

Hard pill to swallow

All praise to those hard units who can swallow pills without water, but for the rest of us, at least a little water should be used.

However, don’t just limit yourself to a half inch in the bottom of a glass, top it up.

A full glass will improve absorption and prevent medicine from getting stuck in your oesophagus and causing irritation. It may even make it taste better.

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Ease up on the flavourings

When I was growing up cordial was on the pantry shelf in almost every house, but I can’t remember the last time I bought it, and that’s a good thing.

Flavoured water can be okay occasionally, but if you feel yourself constantly reaching for the Ribena bottle, it’s time to scale it back.

Waters flavoured with sugar, sweeteners, artificial flavourings and even caffeine can put you at a higher risk of diabetes and cancer, and it’s not great for your teeth either.

If the taste of plain water doesn’t appeal, try adding a squeeze of fresh fruit, herbs or a cucumber slice instead. Just remember to wash them well first.

Steady as she goes

Don’t glug a jug of water all at once. There’s an urban myth that it wakes up your metabolism. It doesn’t. It should be regularly topping up your hydration levels with several glasses throughout the day.

And I think everyone knows to keep your intake down just before bed, nothing like getting up to a full bladder at 3am for a miserable night’s sleep.

Have your water drinking habits changed over the years? We’re keen to hear why. Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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