We’ve all heard about how you need to drink 8 glasses of water per day but this was purely a guideline and not based on scientific evidence, however, it is still super important to stay hydrated and here are a few reasons why.
Our body is made up from 60-75% water so it is no surprise that becoming dehydrated can have a negative effect on our health. From mild signs of dehydration such as a dry, sticky mouth, muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue to the more severe signs extreme thirst, rapid heartbeat, little or no urination.
Staying hydrated helps the body to balance the body’s fluids which are needed for saliva, digestion, maintenance of body temperature and transportation of nutrients around the body, to name a few reasons. When you start to feel thirsty that is your body telling you that you’re heading towards dehydration, don’t ignore this cue from your body!
Drinking water and keeping hydrated helps your kidneys. Our kidneys (and liver) do a great job of getting rid of toxins in the body and everything runs smoothly when you are getting enough water. However, if you’re not drinking enough this causes the kidneys to hold on to extra fluids for other bodily functions, this is when your urine will become darker and there is an increase in odour, you also run the risk of developing kidney stones. Your urine is a great indicator of your hydration if you’re drinking enough water your urine will be light in colour and odourless.
And whilst we’re talking about bodily functions, having a good fluid intake helps add fluid to the colon which makes things, erm, run more smoothly and prevents constipation!
Do you often feel tired mid-afternoon and reach for a coffee? It could be that you need more fluids; instead, grab some water or a caffeine-free herbal tea, tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration.
Conversely, you can drink too much water and this can have an adverse affect on your health, therefore, it is important to listen to your body. Avoid being thirsty, keep water at hand during the day – I fill a bottle with water if I’m going out and take it with me for the day – don’t drink until you feel full from the water, your body is just going to excrete the excess fluids and you don’t want to overload your kidneys.
If you find plain water boring jazz it up with fruit – berries & citrus work well – add herbs too, mint, rosemary, bashed lemongrass is lovely with some ginger. Herbal teas are great too, on hot days (very rare in Scotland) I like to make iced teas and sip on these. In addition to drinking fluids, there are a variety of fruits and vegetables which have a high water content which can also contribute to you staying hydrated..hello watermelon and cucumber salad!
Health & Happiness
*Rebecca Price is not a medical practitioner and does not provide medical advice/diagnose or treat diseases. The information on this website is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified Doctor/healthcare professional. Please seek medical advice/approval from your Doctor before embarking on any new diet or exercise regime.