It is so essential to the healthy functioning of the human body!
While i’m sure we all know how vital this fluid is, many of us still struggle to drink nearly enough water to keep our body’s happy, healthy and functioning at their best.
Our bodies are roughly 60% water, with our blood around 90%…If we aren’t consuming enough water through drinking and within the foods we eat, it’s not hard to see why our health can suffer!
Did you know we can survive around 3 weeks without food, but only 3-4 days without water?!
Water and why it helps us to reach our goals:
- So, what is water? The dictionary definition states water is ‘A colourless, transparent, odourless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms’. Our bodies require water to perform the processes that keep us functioning daily, and every living cell in our bodies needs it to survive.
- Dehydration can make it harder to concentrate – Ever had that sluggish, tired, even confused feeling? Chances are it’s a sign your dehydrated! Even mild dehydration can have a major impact on your memory, slow your brain function and make you cranky – much like that ‘hangry’ feeling we get when our blood sugar drops. Your brain (as do all of your body’s organs) needs water to function, therefore when you are not well hydrated it will slow down, making you less sharp and focused. Headaches are a major sign your body needs water also!
- Dehydration affects your workouts – As I mentioned earlier, all the living cells in your body need water to function – this includes your muscles! They are made up of over 75% water, so you can see how you may not be able to jump as high or run as fast if you’re dehydrated. Dehydration can make what is usually a manageable workout seem a lot tougher than usual, you may feel a little slow, sluggish or lacking energy. When doing any sort of physical activity it is absolutely vital to increase your water intake, even if you don’t feel particularly sweaty or thirsty. Your body is using water constantly to perform what you are asking of it throughout your workouts or daily tasks.
- Water can help with ‘weight management’ – We can often confuse thirst for hunger. When the body is depleted, it starts sending out all of the warning signals asking for help – one of these are your hunger cues! The confusion happens in the part of the brain that regulates both your appetite and thirst – when you begin to get dehydrated, wires get crossed. We do get water from food too, but often it is not the food the body is searching for, just the water. Next time a craving hits, try having a glass of water and doing something else for a while and re-assessing – are you still hungry? Drinking water (as well as fueling your body properly), keeps your metabolism firing and also helps stop your body retaining water, lessening the feeling of water related bloating.
- Water is essential for flushing waste products from our bodies – Think of it as a natural detox! Water is used to flush all the nasties from our body including toxins, bacteria and other waste products via our sweat and toilet visits. Without enough of it, these processes slow down and waste products collect in our bodies. A simple example of this happening is how dehydration can affect your skin. Often poor skin can be attributed to toxin build up which can be alleviated by increasing water intake.
- You can get water from food too! It’s not just drinking water that hydrates us, around 20% of our body’s fluid intake comes from food – fruits and veggies are great for this! Think cucumber, watermelon, apples, leafy vegetables, oranges, tomatoes, to name just a few great sources. The added bonus of these is that you’re also getting part of your 5+ a day!
Signs you’re probably dehydrated include:
- Feeling tired or sleepy
- You haven’t been to the toilet in a while, or your urine is an intense yellow colour!
- Dry mouth and increased thirst
- Confusion and irritability
Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! The best way to keep your body hydrated is to drink small amounts of water often.
Tips to help you drink more water:
- Keep a water bottle with you wherever you are – you’re much more likely to keep drinking if it’s in front of you.
- If you find plain tap water a little bland, try jazzing it up with some fresh fruit, berries, cucumber, mint leaves or lemon. So delicious and refreshing, plus you’re also getting the vitamin and mineral benefits from the fruit too!
- Another little thing to remember is to have a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. Your body has been resting for hours without any fluid intake – it needs some hydration, before your morning coffee!
- A little Himalayan salt and squeeze of lemon in your glass will also help it get into your cells faster, getting your day off to the right start.
Do you have any ‘hydration hacks’ that I need to know about?! I’m always keen to learn new tricks to help make healthy living easy!
Get in touch, I would love to hear from you!