Healthy Living Advice

Tips for health, strength, weight-loss, and nutrition

Weekly tip to get you ready for summer - Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do for your body. It sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

Yet surprisingly, close to 75% of people are constantly dehydrated. We have become so used to it that we no longer recognise the signs of thirst, and if we do most of us just ignore them. These signs are your body telling you that things are not right. We react quickly to headaches, pains or hunger but push aside feelings of thirst. The human body is close to 60% water, your muscles and brain are around 75% water and your blood is 82% water. Water is required for every action your body performs; from regulating blood pressure and body temperature, making sure your heart works correctly and that your brain is capable of doing its daily tasks, while also helping to lubricate joints. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. Water is essential for good health.

When our bodies become dehydrated, we get the feeling of thirst and this can often be disguised as hunger. This may be a contributing factor to our obesity epidemic. Studies show that one glass of water can stop late night hunger cravings and will also help you sleep better.

How do you know if you are dehydrated?

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to have a drink. It can be hard to recognize when you’re dehydrated, especially as you age. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

 When our body is dehydrated it doesn’t work as efficiently, even mild dehydration will slow down our metabolism as much as 3%. Slower metabolism means more fat stored and less used as fuel for your body. Other problems like short-term memory, focusing, kidney stones, bladder infections, dry skin, and constipation are all effected by your hydration levels. It is also a major contributor to daytime fatigue. 

Most people get their their daily fluid intake from sugary carbonated drinks, coffee, or juice. These drinks do contain water but they also contain substances that cause dehydration like sugar and caffeine. So you are not getting any real benefit from these drinks. Alcohol is the worse when it comes to dehydration. This is why it is recommended to drink one glass of water for every 1 to 2 drinks you have. Plus a big glass of water before bed will help with the morning dehydration hangover headache.

How much should you drink? 

The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 litres (about 13 cups) a day and women consume 2.2 litres (about 9 cups) a day.

Tips for staying hydrated: 

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and a lot after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. When you wake up, at breakfast, lunch and dinner and when you go to bed. Or you could drink a small glass of water at the start of every hour.
  • Be careful adding lemon or lime to your water as they are both highly acidic and can soften your tooth enamel and can lead to erosion of the outside enamel layer of your teeth. 

 

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