Water, water, and some more water!

Why are we constantly told to ‘drink more water’ from friends, family, doctors, fitness instructors? Perhaps because water (whether drinking or in our foods) is the key to many benefits of the body, mind, and lifestyle.

Fact: ‘Through activities of daily living, the average person loses about 3- 4 liters of fluid a day (about 10-15 cups) in sweat, urine, exhaled air and bowel movement. What is lost must be replaced by the water/ fluid we drink and the food we eat. We lose approximately 1-2 liters of water just from breathing.’ Fluid is also lost through evaporation from our skin pores, even in our sleep we are loosing nutrients/minerals that need to be replaced in order to stay in good health.

‘When your water intake does not equal your losses, you can become dehydrated. Fluid losses are also accentuated in warmer climates, high altitudes, in older adults, and especially during exercise.’ Symptoms of dehydration can be: feeling thirsty, a dry mouth, feeling lightheaded, fatigued, darker coloured urine and released less often, constipation. chronic dehydration (drinking too little, always) will put you at higher risk for more serious symptoms/problems likes Kidney Stones and infections.

The benefits of drinking water and when to:

having water when you wake up can help activate internal organs; to help the Kidneys transport waste products in and out of cells to eliminate toxins. When you intake enough fluids, urine will flow freely, will be light in colour and free of odour.

Energise muscles; cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes can result in muscle tiredness, you will find yourself struggling to work as hard, exercise performance will suffer. During exercise it is recommend that people start drinking fluids before, and in regular intervals throughout the training, to replace fluids lost through sweat.

drinking water 30 minutes before you eat helps digestion, and in turn aid weight loss. ‘For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help. Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel fuller sooner. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.’

Digestion and Bowel Function. Drinking enough water will aid the flow of your gastrointestinal tract and will prevent some of the symptoms of dehydration related to digestion, such as constipation. If you don’t get enough fluids the colon takes water from your stool to maintain hydration = constipation!

drink before you bathe to lower blood pressure & maintain body temperature. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney failure.

drink before bed as we loose fluids in our sleep, especially through our skin, to avoid stroke and heart attack, to keep the organs in check while asleep.

Your skin contains lots of water and acts as a barrier to prevent excess loss of fluid. However lack of fluids can leave your skin dehydrated causing dryness, wrinkles, blemishes, and so on.

The aim of the game is to maintain a balance of body fluids.

Fact: ‘Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include all of the vital points listed above plus, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients. It also helps to lubricate the joints to avoid arthritic problems, and in the eyes.

How to increase your intake of fluids:

– Have a beverage at the times mentioned above plus with every snack and meal.

– Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re more likely to drink more liquids if you enjoy it.

– Eat more fruit and veg. Their high water content will add to your hydration. Some foods listed above.

– Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, in your bag. Make it accessible.

– Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water etc. so it is not to be a burden on your dietary circumstances.

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