Posted on Tuesday 3 May 2016 by Centra

3rd May 2016

The subject of water has never been so topical in Ireland but just how much are Irish people actually drinking? Not half enough, according to research conducted by Centra.

 Hydration

The findings, compiled by REDC, reveal that the average Irish adult is only consuming half of their recommended eight glasses of water a day. 4 out of 5 (a staggering 86%) of Irish people are not drinking enough water. Worryingly, the findings also show that there is a lack of understanding; over half of the population believe they are consuming the correct amount of water, when in fact they are not.

Hydration is a key component of a healthy lifestyle and Centra is encouraging the nation to drink more water as part of their ‘Get Summer Ready’ campaign. This initiative builds on Centra’s Live Well programme which commits to shaking up the convenience sector by encouraging healthy choices when on the go.

The REDC research also reveals that the older generation are by far the worst offenders with those over 65 years drinking just 3.5 glasses of water a day. The younger generation of Irish society are more conscientious, with those aged between 18 and 24 drinking over 5 glasses of water daily. Over half (56%) of respondents said they tend to forget to drink water during the day and almost a third (31%) said they find water too bland.

Centra is motivating customers to drink more water by reducing shelf space for fizzy drinks in store and promoting healthier alternatives instead. The results are impressive; within 6 months Centra reduced the calorie intake of its customers by 60 million – the equivalent of 3.75 million spoons of sugar. In support of the ‘Get Summer Ready’ initiative, Centra will be offering a 6 pack of Ballygowan 500ml water for just €1 on Friday 6th May. Centra is making a conscious effort to make hydration affordable by ensuring there is always water on promotion in their stores.

To promote healthy hydration, Centra’s consultant dietician Sarah Keogh has developed top ten tips to stay hydrated.

  1. Step by step – Get into the habit of adding one extra glass of water to your routine every day. Once you are used to this, you can add another one and gradually get used to the full 8 glasses over a few weeks.
  2. Pace yourself – Try not to gulp down a pint in one minute and then not drink again for hours. Try to sip some water throughout the day, every 20 minutes if you can.
  3. Try water before breakfast – Did you know you can lose a litre of water from your body as you sleep? Keep a glass of water or water bottle on the nightstand next to your bed and drink it as soon as you get up. Beginning your day with water rehydrates you after the night and helps your body begin the day better hydrated.
  4. Love that lemonade – If you find water bland, spice it up by adding a squirt of lemon or lime juice to each glass. You can also add cucumber, thyme and mint leaves.
  5. Keep it close – When water is close to hand in your bag, nappy bag, or front seat, you’re likely to drink more of it and it is a simple habit that will help improve your hydration.
  6. Enjoy herbal teas There are lots of different types of herbal teas out there and it is worth finding one you like. Try adding fresh mint leaves or a cube of fresh ginger to hot water for a tasty, warming way to stay hydrated.
  7. Choose water based foods If you find it hard to keep hydrated fruit and vegetables are a great source of fluids. Try lettuce, tomatoes, melon, cucumber, watermelon and oranges.
  8. Save your drinks to the end of your meal – Although lots of water is important for hydration is it a good idea to eat first and wait until you are half way through or even at the end of your meal before you take a drink.  Chewing food is an important part of digestion and using water to get food to go down may mean you miss this step!
  9. Fluid companion – Get in the habit of taking along a bottle of water when you ride your bike, drive in the car, and especially when you go on outings with active, thirsty toddlers.
  10. Preparation – Make sure you are well hydrated when exercising or out in the heat. If you’re working up a sweat, you will need to increase your fluid intake.

 

Speaking about today’s findings Sarah Keogh, Consultant Dietician with Eatwell.ie and a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute said: “It is alarming that 86% of Irish people are not drinking enough water but even more shocking that people don’t know they should be drinking more. Not being hydrated can have significant repercussions for physical health and cognitive functioning. It is extremely easy to increase your consumption by just following a few simple tips, and you won’t believe the difference it will make!”