People can find it easier to be active and eat better on holiday, thanks to the break from routine and extra free time. However, holidays also come with lots of temptations, distracting our eyes from our normal healthy lifestyle behaviours. Of course you’re going to treat yourself (you’re on holiday!) but be mindful of how often you might do this. Holiday time is the time for feeling good, time to invest in yourself, so why not make a few little changes for an extra boost? One habit that most of us are prone to letting slide is keeping well hydrated (I’m not talking about alcohol here!).
You can get water from nearly all fluid that you drink, except from stronger alcoholic drinks such as wine and spirits. It’s best to limit alcohol as these have a diuretic effect, causing you to lose more water in urine. Caffeine containing drinks can also flush out more water, but moderate tea and coffee consumption is not harmful for hydration. Sports drinks are not necessary for keeping your hydration in check. As well as containing caffeine, some sports drinks can be very high in sugar, which is bad news for our teeth and add extra calories to our daily intake.
There are more options to keep your hydration in check other than reaching for sugary drinks. Here are a few of my tips to help keep you refreshed;
Water – with a twist. Add some flavour to your bottled water – strawberries, mint and cucumber add a great natural taste. You could also try adding these to ice cubes too.
Act like you are abroad. When we are on holiday abroad most of us don’t tend to go anywhere without a bottle of water to hand. Keep a bottle of water in your bag, car and bedside – if it’s there you’re more likely to drink it.
Freeze your bottled water. Going on a car trip? Planning on being out and about all day? Pop your bottled water in the freezer the night before (remember all liquid expands when frozen, so don’t fill it to the brim!). You can sip back on chilled water throughout the day.
Pick fruit. Watermelon, stone fruits and cucumber all have high water content (as well as tasting delicious!). Add a side of fruit to your breakfast and lunch. If you’re heading out for the day pack some grapes or cherry tomatoes to snack on.
Drink even though you don’t feel thirsty. By the time we feel thirsty our body is already dehydrated. Try to get into the habit of sipping water or fluids regularly, perhaps every half an hour.
The chances are you will be out and about lots during your #staycation this summer. Although we cannot guarantee your plans might not change due to the weather, we can plan to make some small changes to our lifestyles for our improving our health.
Dr Suzanne Zaremba, Lecturer in Nutrition at the University of Dundee and Fellow of the SCPN.