Derval O'Rourke: How to stay hydrated during the lockdown

Derval O'Rourke: How to stay hydrated during the lockdown

This week I’m home based and trying to remember to stay hydrated. I’ll share my tips for simple ways to keep hydrated and feeling well. Recipe wise I’m sharing my steak salad recipe. This is the perfect recipe for a stay at home dinner that feels indulgent and like you are eating out.

Drinking water is one of the best ways to stay healthy. We often focus all our efforts on eating well and exercising but ensuring you get in enough fluids is a key part of a balanced diet. Our body is roughly 50% to 60% water. It has several vital roles to play in the body; the fact that we can survive weeks without food but only a few days without water, is testimony to how important it is for our health.

Water is a component of the blood which carries oxygen around the body, it’s part of the digestive juices in the stomach and also forms part of the saliva which is involved in swallowing. It helps to keep the mouth, nose, skin and eyes moist. Water also forms part of sweat, which helps prevent the body from overheating during exercise.

When we sweat, we lose water and electrolytes, both of which need to be replaced to prevent dehydration. Staying active is incredibly important and sipping water whilst doing so is a good habit to get into. Being even slightly dehydrated can have a negative impact on aspects such as decision making, concentration and reaction times. For example, losing more than 5% of your body weight in water reduces your ability to move and work by as much as 30%.

Here are my top tips for staying hydrated:

  • ·Invest in a BPA-free (bisphenol-a) water bottle. A BPA-free bottle is much kinder to the environment. Irish site www.earthmother.ie has a great selection.
  • ·Try to keep your BPA-free bottle within reach of you. For me I leave mine on the kitchen island when I’m downstairs and on my desk when I’m working.
  • ·We all love our tea and coffees but try to reduce your intake as they contain caffeine which acts as a mild diuretic, causing the body to lose fluid and increase the need to use the toilet. To help combat this, try having a glass of water with your coffee.
  • ·Set reminders on your phone to drink multiple times a day. The same reminder may also tell you to get moving. Lots of fitness apps will have a feature that prompts this reminder.
  • ·Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink, thirst is a sign that your body has needed fluids for a while. Take small sips throughout the day. Sip often.
  • ·A key factor affecting your water requirements is your activity level. No matter what level you are training at or what your activity of choice is it is important to hydrate before, during and after every session. Staying hydrated will make you more focused and productive.

Let’s face it though; plain water can be a bit boring so why not try one of these suggestions to jazz it up a bit.

Lemony water: 500ml water plus juice of half lemon squeezed in.

Vitamin C boost: 500ml water plus half a lemon, half a lime and half an orange sliced and added.

Minty lime: 500ml water plus the juice half lime and little mint.

Steak salad

Derval O'Rourke: How to stay hydrated during the lockdown

I’m not really a salad girl at dinner time. If dinner is just a bowl of leaves, I won’t be happy. This recipe does a lot for the reputation of salad. It’s spicy and filling and so much more than the sum of its parts. If you want a bit more carbohydrate with it, you could serve a baked potato on the side. It is the perfect recipe for a date night at home, it’s always a massive hit in my house.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

    For the salad
  • A handful of pine nuts
  • 2 handfuls of mixed salad leaves
  • A handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • A small bunch of scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • ½ small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • For the dressing
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped(more if you want a big kick)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 2x 200 grump or striploin steaks (about 2cm thick), removed from the fridge 15 minutes before cooking olive oil salt and pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Spread the pine nuts on a baking tin and bake for 5–10 minutes or until toasted, turning halfway through.

Set aside to cool (but leave the oven on for the steaks).

Heat a grill pan or frying pan over a high heat.

Rub both sides of each steak with a little olive oil.

Season the steaks and place them in the pan.

Cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Lay the steaks in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place in the oven for 5–10 minutes.

When the steaks are cooked to your liking, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place all of the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.

Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well to combine.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Use a sharp knife to cut the cooked steaks into thin strips.

Arrange the steak strips on top of the salad and serve without delay.

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