We’ve all heard before that our water intake is crucial when talking about improving your health, fitness and general wellbeing.

So when health and fitness personalities suddenly start carrying around “powered up” water — should the rest of us follow?

Will adding vitamins or supplements to your water bottle be even more beneficial?

And how are you supposed to get your recommended water intake each day when it’s cold and you’re not as thirsty?

Protein boosters, chlorophyll and coconut water are all encouraged as extras to water intake by various health identities.

Use Food First

“I find it’s best to get what you need through your food intake first, ” Kat Stewart, naturopath at Manna Wholefoods, says.

“Using food to get your optimal nutrition has many benefits — including the fact that vitamins and minerals are in their most natural form.”

Ms Stewart says by relying on food first, you’ll also reap the benefits of nature having balanced the ingredients of the food — for example fruit and vegetables — with lots of their cofactors for best absorption.

Post-Workout Protein

For the most part, dietitian Julie Meek doesn’t recommend adding supplements to your water but she says a post-workout protein drink can be beneficial as long as it’s consumed 15-30 minutes after the workout ends.

“The research shows that adding protein to water during exercise or sports really has no beneficial effect — it’s after a session that it’s useful, ” she says.

“People may consume that as a protein drink with a protein powder, which is safe to use.”

Looking for a cost-savvy way to get your protein post workout? Try adding two tablespoons of skim milk powder to a cup of milk.

If You’re Run Down

“If people are looking for an extra boost because they’re run down, I like to use things as close to food as possible first, ” Ms Stewart says.

“An example of this is coconut water — it’s high in electrolytes and natural salts, especially magnesium, along with vitamins, especially vitamin B.”

Ms Stewart recommends water fresh from the coconut as your first choice but says there is also freeze-dried coconut water powder that will work too.

In addition, she recommends superfood powders.

“These can be added to smoothies or taken in the morning — they’re made from freeze-dried fruit and vegetables and will give a boost of antioxidant, vitamins and minerals in close to their natural form, ” she says.

Setting Water Goals

“By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve been dehydrated for the past two hours, ” Jasvir Singh, dietitian at Perth Diet Clinic, says.

Ms Singh recommends making your water more interesting by adding berries or citrus fruits to your bottle, drinking sparkling water or encouraging yourself to have a sip of water every 20 minutes to increase your daily water intake.


© The West Australian

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