Life Hacks - A Trusted Original We All Forget


One thing we all love is a clever life hack. Whether it's a way to grow vegetables using the leftovers from your food shop, or alternative uses for a sponge once it's outgrown its use, we can all be left in awe at some of the discoveries our fellow humans share with us.


Rather than disclose a brand new life hack, I'm going to remind you all about one of the fundamentals we often forget to implement into our daily lives. There are even brilliant little tricks we can do that make small tasks that little bit easier.


This life hack focuses on one of the essentials we require in order to survive; it is something that we might actually disassociate as being a hack. From skin care to mental wellbeing, from weight management to energy levels, this simple formula included throughout our daily routine has nothing but perks for our bodies. In fact, the only downside I can think of is the additional plumbing we'll end up using.


Can you guess what the source of these hacks is? It is water! Before you dismiss it as being a hack, just ask yourself whether your body receives enough fluid in a day. Scientists and nutritionists recommend that we consume 6-8 glasses of water daily. Are you someone who doesn't get the intended amount?


In all honesty, it is difficult to fit that amount in at first. It's about trialling and testing exactly when having a glass of water suits you and your body. For the last two weeks, I have been consuming the exact water requirement every single day, and I'm going to share some water-related hacks, as well as the benefits you'll receive from drinking enough, that I have experienced.


THE BEST HANGOVER CURE?

With pubs opening up again, and nightclubs following shortly after, us Brits will go back to what we're known as doing best across the world - drink alcohol. Come 22nd June, there will be a lot of people out there nursing a sore head from their first night out in well over a year. This little hack will hopefully see you through the first night out on the town.


If you're prepared, like me, and don't fancy the thumping headache, you'll also pad out your alcoholic beverages with a few glasses of water. Although alcohol is technically a drug, it is often used amongst us as an opportunity for a bit of fun and to let our hair down. While this is great, we need to remember that the alcohol we put into our body will dehydrate us and drinking some water during your session will help you recover the following day. When your body becomes too dehydrated it can cause you to experience nausea, headaches and irritability - does this sound exactly like most of the ailments experienced during a hangover?


If you do wake up the next morning with a hangover, then water is your best bet when getting your body back on track. By drinking enough of it, you're rehydrating your body after the alcohol has dehydrated you, and you're also allowing your body to flush out some of its toxins. It can often be the toxicity of the alcohol that lingers in our system, causing us to endure a greater intensity of hangover. As best as you can, to reduce the sensation you want to flush it out of your body. Your sweat will also help to eradicate some of the affects of the alcohol too. Coupled with a few more glasses of water, your body will be cleansed from the consumption of the night before, but not necessarily the debauchery.


HOUSEHOLD HACK - REMOVING EGG SHELLS.

Are you someone who enjoys a good boiled egg every now and again? I'm sure you're just as bored as I am of trying to peel off the shell without it getting all over your hands, and whilst trying to avoid burning yourself.


To remove the egg shell from a boiled egg, you must transfer the hot egg into a jug of cold water. Allow it to sit for a minute or two in the new water. Once the egg is cool enough to touch, knock the shell on the top of the jug as if you were cracking it. Place the egg back in the water and start to work at sliding the shell off around where it's been cracked. Once you've removed the first couple of pieces, you should be able to lift it off in one or two goes. Then, use the water to wipe away any remnants left on the egg white.


FLUSH OUT THE TOXINS IN YOUR SYSTEM.

Whether you've been feeling ill, have consumed too much alcohol, or had a bit of a junk food binge (we all do it), it's safe to say that you'll probably feel a little worse for wear the following day. Ultimately, our ambition at this point is to find a way to get through the sluggish feeling.


If you've been suffering with a cold, stomach bug or other illness that can be treated in a pharmacy, then you'll likely have been given tablets, some medicine to line your stomach or creams to help your skin. Although these can be vital to helping us feel better sooner, you guessed it, water is also an essential towards a speedy recovery. Ensuring your body receives enough water, even when you can't keep any contents in your stomach, is important. Water doesn't just go in and come out again, water is absorbed by our intestines and circulated around our system. This means that it can help the defences in our bodies when we are trying to combat an illness like flu. When we consume enough water it takes the strain from our kidneys; a fundamental organ that enables our recovery. They support our body in excreting waste and absorbing nutrients that will benefit us. Do it for your kidneys!


It's a similar story for junk food consumption. Due to the salt and fats that make up some of our favourite takeaways, our bodies can find it difficult to digest and breakdown the food. Likewise, additional quantities of sodium can cause us to feel dehydrated in a similar way that alcohol does. If you are experiencing thirst, then chances are that you've taken in too much salt. While this is easily sorted with a few glasses of water, you might endure some bloating for a short period of time. If bloating is something you frequently experience, and have ruled out any medical causes of bloating, then your increased salt intake and deficient water consumption may be the reason behind it. I, for one, hate the experience of bloating - do it to combat the sensation.


ARE YOU SNACKING BECAUSE YOU'RE BORED OR BECAUSE YOU'RE HUNGRY?

Don't worry! This is not a personal attack on anyone, just another little life hack. Have you found yourself with your head in the snack cupboard looking for something you fancy eating? Maybe you're toying between different things but can't settle on something? Ask yourself this: are you actually hungry?


One way to tell if you're snacking because you're bored, or snacking because you're hungry - they actually manifest themselves in the same way -, is by drinking a glass of water and waiting five minutes. If you're still hungry after those five minutes, then it's snack time; if you're not, then - believe it or not - you were actually thirsty! A good saying to remember is "if you feel like you need a drink of water then you are already dehydrated." Knowing this little trick enabled me to find the extra space for a few glasses of water a day - 8 out 10 times, I'm thirsty.


A lot of us assume that being thirsty is when we get the sensation in the back of our throats and when the roof of our mouths go dry. Truthfully, when we're at this stage, our bodies are actually feeling dehydrated. You can often tell if you've not had enough water in the day as your urine might smell strong and be a prominent yellow. If you don't tackle this, you can experience discomfort, nausea and headaches on a frequent basis. Knowing that thirst and hunger also manifest themselves in the same way can help you encourage more consumption.


YOUR BEST FRIEND WITH WEIGHT MANAGEMENT.

Whether you're trying to put on weight, lose it or build up some muscle, your journey is going to be tricky if water is not a big part of it. Essentially, by putting more food into your body for weight gain, or reducing your calorie intake for loss, water is vital for helping your body cope with these changes. As I mentioned above, coupling water with larger food intakes can aid your body in digesting it and breaking it down, likewise, if you're in calorie deficit, then your body needs the water to help keep you energised.


Weight management will often go hand in hand with exercise too. Where exercise is incorporated, you will essentially need that extra water because your heart is working harder to pump blood around your body. You'll also experience sweating too. Perspiration helps, once again, to flush out any toxins; you need water to replenish the water lost through sweat. Another very small thing I have noticed from consuming more water is that my joints don't feel as fragile the day after my work outs now; this might not be the case for everyone and is only a minute observation on my behalf. There are studies and examples out there that water consumption enables your joints to be cushioned - worth looking into.


WANT CLEARER SKIN WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG?

That's right, by continuously drinking water, you'll improve your complexion over time. Your skin is the largest organ your body has; just like your kidneys and intestines, it relies on water consumption to help it thrive. Although it will depend from person to person, some of the benefits of drinking water range from:

  • self-moisturising skin

  • lack of wrinkles

  • fresher look/glow

  • can enable a reduction of spots and impurities

Don't believe me? Try it for at least two weeks and let me know how it goes.


RECYCLE YOUR WATER WHERE POSSIBLE.

Grey water is the water we use in the home; this comes from the shower, the taps and also when we boil food. How can you recycle this water? Just like a water butt, a container that collects rain water from your gutters, there are ways to ensure that your water usage doesn't go to waste.


Why is it called grey water? Grey water looks exactly how it sounds; it's been used for one purpose and looks dirty. However, for certain topics, this water is actually still fit for use - just not for human consumption. Grey water can be used to hydrate non-edible plants in the home or the garden; we shouldn't put this water on our crops because it can be harmful if it comes into contact with the edible part of the plant.


Grey water is also brilliant in case of water shortage in the home - this water can be used to help flush toilets, clear blocked guttering and water your outside plants.


With so many benefits available to us, it's a no brainer that we should consume more water. With bottles designed to track your intake, apps that count your glasses and a wealth of knowledge that backs up the importance of water, it's a trend that we all need to start and stay on. After a week, you'll start to see the perks come through. After two weeks, your bladder will become better adjusted to the new intake. It might seem difficult to fit it all in, but it is incredibly important that we find a way to do it.