I was introduced to the complexity of ordering water whilst out when I first came to Italia about 8 years ago. It reminded me of ordering at a Starbucks (a double, venti, oat-milk latte, hold the foam, in case anyone is interested). In Italy it is normal to not only specify fizzy or still when ordering a bottle of water, but also: tepid, cold, warm, ice, no ice, lemon, no lemon (heaven forbid you to ask for tap water, even if you can drink it in most of Italy). I have even witnessed someone asking what brand of water they were serving...
Now, although we are in the land of prosecco and espresso, I can promise you, keeping hydrated is still a problem. Your routine revolves around food, it is normal to have an extended hour-long pausa pranzo (lunch), you would think who even needs to count how many glasses of water (not chianti or cappuccino) I am actually drinking? Instead, you still arrive home after a day of work and realise your water bottle is still on the kitchen counter where you forgot it; full.
How much water should we really be drinking? You are constantly being told by your mother, father, doctor, me: “drink more water”. The most recent studies have suggested that you should be drinking about 1 litre of water for every 25 kg of body weight. This is a rough guideline, but it is certainly a good start.
What can we do to improve our daily water intake? Well, I give you the 20-minute timer. What you do is have a timer on your phone or watch, that goes off every 20 minutes. When that goes off, you drink. It is better to sip, rather than chug water, so this routine lets you do exactly that. Although I tease about Italian water-ordering, tepid water is actually much easier on your body, and it can increase circulation and promote digestive enzymes, so give it a go even if you are like your water-on-the-rocks.
If timers aren’t your thing, then you can consider being eco-savvy and get a 500ml reusable water bottle (you can have a look at Chilly’s) and then you can measure how much you are having, knowing you will need to fill it up about 4-5 times depending upon your suggested water intake! Adding a tall glass of water to your morning ritual can be a great way to start the day as well.
Now, all of this doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your aperitivo with a prosecco, or coffee with friends. It is a reminder that we need to take those moments to improve our habits and ultimately our wellbeing.
Fleek Tips for Staying Hydrated
- Drink 1 litre of water for every 25kg of body weight per day
- Luke-warm water is easier for your body to digest
- Drink about 500mL of water (a tall glass) when you wake up to get your digestive system working again after sleeping!
- Have a go at using a 20-minute timer to remember to drink regularly
- Don't chug (that was for college), sip your water instead!
- Get a 500mL re-usable water bottle to help hydrate and help the environment
- Add flavourings, like lemon, mint, or cucumbers to your water to make things interesting!
Written by Lucy Bidgood-Lund