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Why is it important to stay hydrated?

  • Staying hydrated not only helps with alertness, controlling appetite, and improving activity and sport’s performance but also keeps every day symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and dry skin at bay.
  • Most drinks do a good job of hydrating, but the components of some common drinks sharply reduce their hydrating ability.
  • Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first - coffee, tea, cocoa, milk, soft drinks and alcohol are all dehydrators!
  • So reach for the fruit and vegetables instead!
  • ‘As its name suggests Water Melon has very high water content’

What’s a good hydrator?

The best hydrating drinks are water, herbals teas and of course fruit and vegetable juices. Fruits and vegetables contain proportionately high quantities of water. When these foods are consumed their water is easily absorbed by the body.  And of course we also benefit from their vitamins and minerals.

As we all know water is the best hydrator, but how much and when should we drink it?

bottleAll of us are dehydrated to some degree. Some of us are chronically dehydrated.  Dehydration is the start of every single health issue.

The body wants to heal itself but it needs to be hydrated in order to heal. Many common ailments are symptoms of dehydration,  like aches, pains, skin complaints, inflammation, asthma, tiredness, acid reflux, chronic back issues, ADHD, allergies, arthritis, anxiety, headaches, migraines, infertility, IBS, gout, etc. The list is almost endless!

As a nutritional healer and health coach the first thing we recommend to clients is hydration therapy. It may require a gradual change and one of the first recommendations is to never drink water while eating food. When water and food are mixed together the digestive juices get diluted and make digestion more difficult. 

It is important to have water about half an hour before a meal as it helps form the mucosal lining of the stomach wall and provide protection from strong stomach acids.

The following regime is a good aim – without being so rigid that we become stressed:

  • - One pint/500mls on rising and wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast
  • - Half a pint/250mls mid-morning
  • - One pint/500mls half hour before lunch
  • - Half a pint/250mls mid afternoon
  • - One pint/500mls half hour before evening meal
  • - Half a pint/250mls during the evening
  • - Half a pint/250mls before bed

Always have a bottle of clean, filtered water with you wherever you go.

It is important to make any changes like this gradually as the body slowly adjusts.  If heart failure, water retention, swelling or kidney disease is an issue then only increase water consumption under supervision –always let your doctor know if you are making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. 

If you would like to delve deeper into this fascinating subject there are two fantastic books I can recommend. ‘Water, the Elixir of Life’ by Lesley Una Pierce and ‘Your Body’s many silent cries for water’ by Dr F Batmanghelidj. 

Try a broth based soup

When you're dehydrated, it’s also highly likely that you've lost a good amount of sodium and electrolytes, which are essential for bodily functions. Consuming broth-based soup will help to rehydrate your system while maintaining a low calorie count. Some broth-based soups such as, vegetable broth soup contain up to 98 percent water. Additionally, the sodium content will help your system regain its equilibrium.

‘Vegetable broth is up to 98% water’

Fancy some jelly – a low calorie and refreshing dessert or snack!

Gelatine desserts are good to eat when you're dehydrated. Similar to soups, gelatines are made mostly of water and contain sodium, which helps nerves and muscles function properly as well as helping to control blood pressure.    But beware of nasty colours and e-numbers in jelly. Why not make your own flavours by adding fresh pressed juice?

‘Gelatine desserts remain low-calorie from only 20 calories per 100 gram serving’

Why not choose a few of these hydrating summer foods and prepare a refreshing and tasty smoothie to feed your mind, body and spirit:

Cucumbers – Cucumbers taste great raw - they are made of mostly water and are one of the best foods to hydrate the body.  No time to juice – add them to a glass of filtered water for a unique, refreshing drink.

Watermelon – Again, mostly water!  Watermelons contain essential hydrating salts, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  Combine with cucumber for a refreshing smoothie!

Carrots, radishes, tomatoes and celery - contain some of the highest water contents of vegetables – combine for a healthy hydrating alternative to water after exercise!

Grapes – Nature’s own hydrating balls of goodness are also known for their extremely high content of Resveratrol, a substance that acts as an antioxidant and is heart-friendly. 

Combine your favourite hydrating fruits and vegetables to create your own recipe ideas for the summer months. 

Share your ideas with us – we’d love to hear your recipes ideas, hints and tips with us!

Trish Tucker-May

Trish Tucker-May, founder of Passion 4 Juice is a nutritional health coach and also a GOLD Thermomix consultant.  If you are interested in preparing healthy food for yourself and your family and want help to get the most out of your kitchen. Get in touch. Trish can show you how to serve delicious healthy food from scratch, avoiding nasties and saving you time and money.


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With 25 years of experience in the catering industry - from the hustle and bustle of larger festivals to more intimate corporate events - our qualified and enthusiastic team provides a fun healthy entertaining service whatever the occasion.

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