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Drink water & thrive

Drink water & thrive

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If you want to be the very best you can be, staying hydrated is absolutely key. This piece is naturally a celebration of one of the most important, calorie-free, life-giving substances on the planet – H2O.

Most of us are aware of how important it is to stay hydrated – I’m sure it’s been drummed into us since we were kids. You might even have been subjected to one of those graded-colour wee charts in the toilet, which in our youth I’m sure we all found funny, but all joking aside, they’re actually really useful and this is a serious subject.

Why is it so important?

It wasn’t until I sat down earlier this year, during my nutrition diploma, for a hydration lesson, that I really understood just how integral water is to pretty much every function of the human body. Let’s not forget, nearly two-thirds of our body is made up of water! If we’re dehydrated, our bodies and brains won’t function in the optimal way. This could be how we feel, heal, react, our ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat or the way our cells and organs function – dehydration really does affect everything we do. Also, our bodies often mistake hunger for thirst, so making sure we keep hydrated throughout the day can help to prevent us from over-eating and consuming calories we don’t need. Water is a cheap, obvious, accessible part of the diet that has an immediate and dramatic impact on the way we function and feel. If you take just a handful of things from this book, bigging up H20 and staying hydrated is one of the most valuable actions you can build into your daily habits.

Why do we feel thirsty?

As wonderful as the human body is, there is a bit of a lag between our bodies telling our brains that we’re actually thirsty and our brains communicating that message. So if you’re feeling thirsty, a) you are definitely dehydrated, and b) you were probably dehydrated an hour ago. If you’re a parent, it’s worth noting that kids are even worse at recognising when they’re thirsty, so it’s important to keep reminding them to drink water.

How much fluid do we need?

The average woman should be getting at least 1.6 litres a day, while the average man is looking at at least 2 litres a day. Like anything, these amounts are a guideline, and our requirements vary depending on factors such as age, build, lifestyle and activity levels, as well as humidity and the temperature around us. Teas and herbal teas, coffee, fruit juice and milk all contribute to our hydration. It’s thought that we also get about 20% of our water intake from the food we eat, such as veggies and fruit with a high water content.

Keep water handy

My top tip, as ridiculously obvious as it sounds, is to put it in front of you! If you’ve always got water to hand – a glass at your desk, a jug on the kitchen table, a bottle when you’re out and about – you’re more likely to pick it up and drink it throughout the day. If you want to naturally flavour it sometimes to keep things interesting, check out the easy ideas in Everyday Super Food..

Tasty tap water

British tap water goes through loads of checks, so it’s safe, clean and should definitely be utilised. It does change in taste regionally – and I know in some places you can taste chlorine – but it’s there, it’s available, and we’re lucky that it’s in such free flow. If you don’t like the taste, look at getting a filter; and bottled mineral water can be convenient at times too.

Soda & sugary drinks

In my house, these don’t exist and are the enemy. They’re a treat, and should be thought of as such. This is why I think they should only be enjoyed at special occasions (if at all, for younger children). Without question they are a fast and simple way to consume humongous amounts of empty calories – they have no nutritional value. The disastrous combination of copious amounts of sugar – often around 12 teaspoons in 500ml – and citric acid, is a nightmare for tooth decay. As people normally sip these drinks, there’s no chance for the teeth to defend themselves. Over-consumption of sugar is a huge contributing factor to tooth decay in children, and multiple tooth extraction means they need to be put under general anaesthetic at a really young age. That’s no joke.

Fruit juice

If we drink too much, fruit juice can be equally guilty as soda and sugary drinks when it comes to tooth decay, because of the natural sugar and citric acid it contains. But consumed in the right amount, fruit juice is actually beneficial, because it also contains a lovely cocktail of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. So, a few tricks to bear in mind: if you’re buying fruit juice, only fill your glass one-quarter full, then top it up with water – this’ll save you money too. At lunch and dinner time, squeeze any nice citrus and crush a little soft fruit into a jug then top up with water and ice – we mix it up every day. And remember, juice doesn’t have the fibre of the whole fruit, so smoothies are generally going to be more nutritious.

For more help becoming the best you can be, join our Healthier Happier You community and order your copy of Jamie’s Everyday Super Food!

Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House ⓒ Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2015 Everyday Super Food) Photographer: Jamie Oliver

‘I always say to a woman who may be in a dark place – if I can make it, so can you’

A milestone in British penal history is about to be marked: the 10th anniversary of a devastating document that lifted the lid on the scandalous conditions in which we incarcerate our female criminals.

It was the work of a remarkable woman, brought up on a council estate, who left school at 16 with few qualifications but was driven by a passion for social justice and a belief in the value of human rights. Ten years on, she is dismayed that the conditions she revealed still thrive.

Baroness Corston, 74, a Labour peer, is self-deprecating, funny and warm. She is also furious at what is happening to prisons in England and Wales: chronically short-staffed, plagued by violence, overcrowding and fear in men’s prisons and by self-harm, addiction and reoffending in the 5% of the prison population that is female a system conspicuously failing to rehabilitate or deliver justice.

In 2006, Corston headed a review of women’s prisons that was triggered after six women in HMP Styal, Cheshire, killed themselves in the space of just 13 months. Last year 12 women killed themselves in prison in England and Wales, double the number when Corston first visited half a dozen women’s prisons, shocked by the scale of mental illness, abuse and deprivation.

On the publication of her report on 13 March 2007, she said: “It is timely to bring about a radical change.”

Corston made 43 recommendations in her report, of which 40 were accepted it received cross-party support, but Labour rejected her demand that existing women’s prisons be replaced by small custodial units – a policy that was, however, subsequently adopted by the Scottish government. Corston wanted most women prisoners to serve their punishment in the community, and attend centres to address problems such as mental illness, addiction and domestic violence that often led them straight back to prison. Labour invested £15m in a network of 50 women’s centres. Today community punishment is proving more effective in reducing reoffending and the female prison population has been reduced by several hundred.

However, a sentence of a few months is still long enough for a woman to lose her housing, employment and her children into care. Corston is patron of the charity Women in Prison, of which I am chair of trustees. Recently a charity worker spent hours finding a woman, a former addict with mental health issues, somewhere to stay for her first night out of jail. That’s typical. Six out of 10 women come out of prison homeless. Women’s centres are an anchor in chaotic lives.

“The overwhelming majority of these women are troubled rather than troublesome,” Corston says. “Women’s centres turn lives around, but it is not an easy option. It requires demons to be confronted: many women find it harder than prison.”

Under “disastrous” changes introduced by the then justice minister, Chris Grayling, a person is supervised under licence for 12 months on release from a short sentence. As a result, last year more than 1,000 women were recalled to prison for minor infractions such as failing to turn up for a probation appointment. Meanwhile women’s centres are folding for lack of financial support.

Styal women’s prison, Cheshire, in 1988. Photograph: Ros Drinkwater/Rex

“It’s because of women’s centres that the women’s prison population has decreased,” Corston says. “But the Grayling changes are making it virtually impossible for the centres to work effectively. In the first few years after the report, we made progress. I thought to myself, ‘Now I’m going to do something else with the rest of my life.’” Instead, the battle continues.

Corston was born Jean Ann Parkin in Hull in 1942. Her upbringing was rooted in socialism. Her father, Laurie, was a skilled glove-cutter, blacklisted for union activism and often out of work. The family moved to Yeovil, Somerset, where Corston passed her 11-plus exam and went to grammar school. “I came from a council estate, so they didn’t treat me well at school. When people go on about how wonderful grammar schools are, I want to explode.”

Her life has followed a feminist trajectory experienced by many women of her era. In the autobiography she is writing, Corston explains how, when she was 14, her mother, Eileen, 36, had a scandalous affair with a lodger 11 years her junior, got pregnant and left the family.

The child born out of that relationship was two when Eileen died of a brain tumour. Corston subsequently discovered that her mother had asked her father many times if she could return, hinting at violence in the relationship. “My dad, sister and I coped. My dad was out of work, so sometimes we shared a tin of soup between three. I left school at 16 to work because we needed my wage.”

She married, aged 19, when five months’ pregnant and moved to Nairobi, where her husband Christopher had a job in radio. Corston’s first child was born in January 1962. “I asked the midwife what I’d had. She said: ‘It’s a little girl, but she’s dead.’ I wasn’t allowed to see her. She was put in the sluice. It was as if I’d lost an umbrella.”

After returning to Britain, Corston was a housewife for 11 years, looking after her children. “Like many women, I had little choice. I had no childcare.” Sarah was born in 1963 and David two years later.

At the age of 28, Corston took an A-level and began an Open University degree to stave off depression. “It was the first time I’d had a sense of a separate identity,” she says. “First I had been Laurie Parkin’s daughter, then Chris’s wife, and then a mum. It felt like liberation. As a student, I was just Jean.”

In 1981, aged 38, Corston became a woman in “a man’s job” in the Labour party. “My colleagues gave me a book inscribed to “Jean Corston on her appointment as south-west regional organiser, whether deserved or not”.

In her 40s, Corston became a barrister and also a Labour candidate for Bristol East – a seat she won in 1992, at the age of 50. “I always say to a woman who may be in a dark place: ‘If I can do it, then so can you. I’m ordinary. I just don’t take no for an answer.’”

A typical room at Styal prison in 1995. Photograph: PA Archive/PA Images

Corston, now divorced, met her second husband, sociologist Peter Townsend, a co-founder of the Child Poverty Action Group and the Disability Alliance, in 1980. They married in 1985. Townsend died of a heart attack, aged 81, in 2009. “It had been a glorious June day. He’d eaten a favourite lunch of skate wing and black butter. That night he turned to switch off the bedside light and he died. It was a most beautiful death in bed with the woman he loved, but for me it was the worst day of my life.” The tears aren’t far away.

Ten years ago the Corston report demanded “a visibly-led, strategic, proportionate, holistic woman-integrated approach”. This translated into schemes to divert women from prison. In government, health, employment, education and housing departments worked together to reduce crime and reoffending. Goals were set and the delivery of the joined-up strategy was made accountable to parliament.

Ten years on, Corston is still fighting. Now she is battling for central funding for women’s centres so they can be made secure, and a women’s justice board to drive change. But there are many obstacles. Last year the government closed HMP Holloway and announced the building of five small female community prisons sharing grounds with men’s prisons, at a cost of £50m. In a letter to Liz Truss, the justice secretary, Corston said she was “surprised and horrified” by the proposal.

Her understanding and empathy for women in jail, often victims themselves, starved of choices, familiar with deprivation and short on luck, came directly from her own experiences. They have also equipped her to give a robust response to critics who ask why women should be treated differently.

Among the differences she points out are that emotional, physical and sexual abuse and domestic violence, suicide and self-harm are more common in the female prison population than the male one many women are sole parents and men coerce some into crime.

She says: “Treating men and women the same is not equal treatment. How many men would like to be treated as if they were women?

“It’s a system that sets fragile women up to fail, and everybody knows it,” Corston says. “If we can create radical change for women, then, eventually, we can overhaul the whole prison estate. Women and men and their victims all deserve a better kind of justice.”

I can't think of any drink that is so easy to make and so packed with antioxidants. Here's are very few benefits of ginger lemonade.

  • Ginger is great to treat fatigue, headache, cold, and indigestion.
  • It also burns fats and helps weight loss. And when you pair it with lemon, honey, black salt, and roasted cumin. It is both refreshing and good for health.
  • Ginger and lemon both are rich in oxidants and help overall immunity.
  • Ginger lemonade is particularly great after heavy meals as it helps digestion, fights nausea, and makes you feel good.
  • This recipe uses natural sugar like honey and jaggery which makes it healthy. Find more benefits of ginger here!


While many suggest making detox with soaked Lemon and ginger. I strongly feel lemon slices when soaked in water make the drink bitter and unpleasant. So this ginger lemonade is great to enjoy all benefits without tasting bad. To reduce calories use less honey and balance it with rock salt that also boasts the taste.

  • Both black salt and toasted cumin mellow the spice of ginger and tartness of lemon. So all ingredients in this drink complement each other for great taste.
  • In fact, you can cut water and add soda in ginger lemon drink to make a fizzy soft drink for guests which will help digestion after a formally heavy dinner.

7 Ayurvedic Tips to Drink Water that You Didn't Know!

According to the book, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad, water is the manifestation of consciousness. Water is fluid, heavy, soft, vicious, cold, dense and cohesive. It brings molecules together. Water is a chemical energy, which means it is a universal chemical solvent. Water exists in the body as plasma, cytoplasm, serum, saliva, nasal secretion, cerebrospinal fluid, urine and sweat. It is therefore necessary for absorption of nutrition and to maintain life without it, our cells cannot survive. Considering how essential water is to human life, here are some handy yet important Ayurvedic tips to drink water.

Ayurvedic Tips to Drink Water

1. Sit Down to Drink Water Rather than Standing

It is a good idea to always sit and drink water rather than standing. By standing and drinking, you disrupt the balance of fluids in the body and this may lead to a greater accumulation of fluids in the joints causing arthritis. By sitting and drinking, your muscles and nervous system is much more relaxed and helps the nerves to digest food and other fluids easily. Your kidneys also pace the filtration process while sitting.

By standing and drinking water, you disrupt the balance of fluids in the body

Avoid gulping down large volumes of water in a single breath, rather take smaller sip, swallow, breathe and repeat throughout the day. This holds true while having your meals too. According to Ayurvedic expert, Dr. Akhilesh Sharma, "there are three doshas in the body - vata, pitta and kapha, and how you consume water must be in accordance with these doshas. People with vata prakruti should drink water only one hour after eating a meal. This will help their food digest in a better way. People with pitta prakruti can have small sips during meals to start their digestion process early and people with kapha prakurti should have water before taking meals so that they feel full and not eat more. This will help them lose weight easily."

Avoid gulping large volumes of water during meals and otherwise3. Drink Room Temperature water, Warm is Even Better

Avoid ice chilled water that disturbs the ongoing process of digestion and puts off the fire. Cold water decreases the blood supply to various organs of the body further leading to constipation. Drinking tepid water can help in proper digestion and metabolism that promotes weight loss, relieves bloating and pain. According to Dr. Akhilesh, warm water helps in in controlling cholesterol levels and also keep the arteries clean.

Avoid drinking chilled water as it disrupts the process of digestion4. Drink Only When You are Thirsty

Your body sends signals to you when it is in dire need of water. Ayurveda emphasizes on drinking water only when you feel thirsty. Every person has a different body, hence, drinking the same amount of water cannot be recommended to everybody. The body cannot absorb too much water intake therefore it is imperative to know the thirst cues your body gives you. Measure your own drinking system without feeling too full.

Your body sends signals when it is in dire need of water5. Know the Indicators your Body Gives You When You are Thirsty

Your body gives you cues to let you know it needs water. One being, the color of urine, dark yellow color may indicate dehydration, while fairly clear and straw colored urine is a sign of a hydrated and satiated body. Dry chapped lips are one of the indicators of a dehydrated body. Notice these cues as these may turn into health problems.

Know the indicators that your body give you when it needs water6. Drink Water First Thing in the Morning

Ayurveda suggests that is a healthy habit to drink water first thing in the morning, which is known as Ushapan. It helps get rid of many diseases in the body. Drinking water in the morning helps in flushing all the toxins in the body and cleanses your intestines.

Start drinking water first thing in the morning7. Drink Water Stored in Silver and Copper Vessels

Ayurveda has always suggested drinking water stored in copper (tamba) and silver (chaandi) vessels. The water stored in these vessels has the ability to balance all three doshas in the body and it does by positively charging the water. Dr. Akhilesh agrees and points out that copper has numerous antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties that help boost the immunne system of the body. It also has anti-cancer properties. Water in the silver vessel has the power to remove free radicals from the body and gives a cooling effect in the intestines and smoothens the process of digestion.

The water stored in copper and silver vessels helps cure all doshas in your bodyImportant Tips for Drinking Water in Summer

According to Dr. Keerti Gupta from Kirti Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Center, "Summer is called as the "Pitta Season" and afternoon time is Pitta Kaal, which is hottest time of the day, therefore, Ayurveda suggests that you should drink maximum water during this period so as to maintain the body temperature. You could also incorporate some small changes including adding Pitta pacifying ingredients in water that help maintain body heat. Some of the ingredients include lemon, mint, kokum, and fennel seeds, khaskhas and rose petals.

Drink the Stupid Water!

You’re always hearing me talking about how much water I drink. I’m constantly saying “drink the stupid water!”. It’s like the first thing as part of my Five to Thrive. That’s how important is to me. It’s because it does SO MUCH for our well-being. We literally use it to do all the things like showering, washing those giant loads of laundry, dishes, and so on…but somehow we can totally neglect to drink it. I mean, let’s be honest…we’ve mastered the art of drinking coffee. I mean, if you know me, you know I worship coffee, but in the same breath, I also worship H2O. I know it doesn’t seem important and such a mundane thing for me to talk about, but y’all. It pays to drink up. It’s the easiest form of self care you can for yourself. So, let’s do it. Let’s drink up.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Half your body weight in ounces is a fantastic place to start. For easy math, let’s say someone weighs 100 lbs, then they would ideally need to consume at least 50 oz of water per day! Once you’ve gotten there, you can always increase your intake.


// Increased energy – It’s as simple as an analogy to putting gas in your car. If you have enough, you’re gonna make it all day long. But if you don’t “gas up”, you’re gonna be stranded on the side of road. If you’re feeling a little sluggish, grab some water. It’ll help you fight that fatigue, and let’s be real, you’re gonna make a bunch of trips to the bathroom, which just means you’ll be getting up more and getting more movement in. Every little bit helps!

// Beautiful skin – So let’s get a little scientific. Skin is composed of cells containing water and not getting enough water can result in dehydration which in turn makes your skin all flaky and dry. So if you chug that water, it’ll do wonders for your complexion and keep wrinkles at bay!

// Hunger control – If you’re not drinking enough water, your body can send you mixed signals and can tell your brain that you might be hungry, when you’re actually just thirsty. This could ultimately keep your snacking under control!

Infuse it!

Are you one of those people that don’t like the taste of water? Guys, infuse it with fruits and herbs. Not drinking it is just not gonna work. Here are some ideas!

4. Use an app to track your cups.

I don't know about you, but for me, if an activity involves using an app, it's a lot easier for me to get into that activity, and maybe even get a little excited about it. Keeping up with how many glasses you’ve finished can be easy (and fun) with the help of a free app like Daily Water Free or Daily Water. Download them to your phone to set daily reminders and alarms. Anything that gives me an excuse to use a neat interface and gaze at a well-designed app has my vote!

What Is Switchel?

Made from apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, maple syrup and then cut with water, switchel’s arrival to America is hazy. Some say this “ginger water” came from the West Indies, where molasses was used instead of maple syrup. Others say it’s derived from oxymel, an ancient Greek medicinal elixir made from vinegar, honey and water. Wherever its origins, by the 18th century, “haymaker’s punch” was being guzzled down by American farmers during long work days to keep cool and stay hydrated in the heat.

At the time, people thought throwing back warm drinks during hot days was better for the body, as it supposedly maintained the body’s equilibrium with the weather. And because farmers couldn’t drink alcohol while working on the fields, benefit-rich ginger was a safe second bet, as it produced a similar feeling to alcohol’s burn while going down.

While their reasoning might not have been totally sound, it turns out these farmers were onto something. Switchel uses are numerous, in fact. Here’s why switchel should be your new favorite summer drink.

Why Drink Water in the Morning?

Your body goes through a lot of processes as you sleep, and many of them deplete your hydration resources. That means that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning will set your body on the right track to function properly. In fact, it is better if you can drink multiple glasses to start your day off.

You also tend to work out in the morning, so priming your body with enough water can help the exercise process run smoothly. Some studies show it will boost energy too. All of this will help you start your day off right.

13 Infused Water Recipes That Will Help You Drink Way More Water

I have a hard time staying hydrated, because I just don't like plain water that much. I'll choke it down if I have to, but I always prefer a bit of flavor when I can get it, even if that's just a splash of juice or a slice of lemon.

It's clear that I'm not the only one in this boat, because the Internet is obsessed with infused waters right now. You've probably noticed them at a spa or even in some hotel lobbies, where you can often find water pitchers spiked with slices of refreshing vegetables and fruits like cucumbers and lemons. In most cases, infused waters don't contain any added sugar or sodium (other than whatever small amount comes naturally from the steeped ingredients). Infused waters are just as hydrating as regular old water, but way, way tastier. Plus, you get to eat the fruits and veggies when you're finished!

The best part is that infused water is so simple to make at home—just throw your favorite combination of fruits and herbs, or even vegetables, spices, and seeds, into a pitcher of water and let it steep for a few hours or overnight.

If hydrating always feels like a chore to you, too, these 13 infused water recipes will make the whole process a lot more palatable. Whether you're looking for a minty number to freshen up your breath, a fruity option with subtle sweetness, or something that's more savory (and even spicy), these infused water ideas will show you that water definitely doesn't have to be boring.

Gingery Carrot Juice Vegetable Juice Recipe


  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped apples
  • 1/2 inch ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Throw the chopped carrots, chopped apple, and ginger root into the blender. Give it a spin.
    2. Strain the juice into a glass.
    3. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir well.


This juice is high in citric acid and is the best for burning fat.

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  1. Zulkisida

    Fair thinking

  2. Jeremee

    Bravo, very good thinking

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