To perform at our best and keep our health at an optimum, hydration is critical!
Our bodies struggle to function when we are short of fluid. The human body is 60% water. The brain is about 73% water, and the lungs are 83%. The skin contains 64% even the bones are a watery 31%! As a rule of thumb, a person can survive without water for about 3 days…
Life can be incredibly busy, and before you know what time of day it is, you realise that you have not had a drink all day! Dehydration does not affect everyone in the same way, we all have a different tolerance level, but it will cause symptoms that disturb our daily performance and health.
Symptoms can include: -
· Lack of concentration, Fatigue, Headaches.
· Light-headedness, Sluggishness, Muscle cramps, Constipation.
· Urinating less frequently, this can contribute to urinary tract infections.
· Changes in blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature and many more.
Several other factors can increase your need for liquid in your day. If your job is very active, if you’ve been exercising or sitting in an office with heating and air conditioning, all these situations will contribute to your needing to take on more fluid during your day.
Hydrating fluid can be taken from many areas, including water and vegetables, fruits, tea, and coffee. Coffee! Coffee! I hear you saying! NHS scientists have stated that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day carries no health risk. This is a huge relief to me, and many others no doubt. However, 4 cups of coffee a day is not enough fluid to keep you at your body at its maximum potential every day.
Dehydration is also a leading cause of constipation. The digestive system needs plenty of water to keep food waste moving through it; otherwise, the stool will become dry, hard, lumpy and difficult to pass. In many cases, simply drinking plenty of water can help relieve constipation.
The benefits of good hydration are:
· Increased energy levels.
· Longer periods of concentration.
· Fewer headaches.
· Better bowel function.
· More stability in our heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
· Clearer skin.
Here are a few strategies to help you increase your daily water intake:
· Every time you go to switch on the kettle, have a glass of water first. If you still fancy the hot drink after that then go ahead and make it.
· If you’re feeling peckish mid-morning or mid-afternoon, have a glass of water instead of a snack.
· Try and drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal.
· Carry a 600ml bottle if you are out and about, try and finish one by lunchtime and one by teatime.
· Set the alarm on your phone.
· Download the App, ‘Water reminder Daily Tracker’.
With a few adjustments to your daily routine, you will reap tremendous benefits.