Water – Vital for health
Did you know an average adult’s body is between 55% – 60% water.
Water is vital for our health and bodily functions.
But why do we need water?
- Water is the main component of our bodies’ cells, keeping them firm and healthy.
- It helps to regulate our body temperature through perspiration and respiration and insulates the brain, spine and organs.
- It is essential to the production of saliva which is used by the body to begin the initial digestion of carbohydrates and obviously to help swallow food.
- It helps to keep joints lubricated and acts as a shock absorber.
- Water is used to flush waste and toxins from the body via the lymphatic system and in urine.
- It dissolves minerals & vitamins, and carries oxygen and nutrients to cells via our circulatory system.
If we don’t take in enough water it can have serious consequences on our health, here are just some of the consequences of not having enough water in our diets:
- Water retention
Your body will try and cling onto every last bit of fluid in your body and thus can cause water retention
- Lower brain function & lethargy
Nutrients and oxygen aren’t transported around the body effectively, causing poor concentration, feeling tired and lethargic
- Weight gain
Your body can mistake feelings of thirst for hunger causing you to eat more. Also if you are feeling tired and lethargic you are more likely to reach for the high calorie snacks.
- Low metabolic rate
Without enough water your body cannot function properly meaning nutrients cannot be metabolised effectively. This reduction in metabolic rate can also lead to sluggishness and weight gain.
Dehydration can cause headaches as the cells around the brain shrink!
- Dull skin
Water is the main component of our cells, which also means our skin! Without enough water our skin sags as the cells shrink.
Without enough water our intestines will struggle to move waste through our systems properly, leading to constipation.
- Your heart and kidneys can suffer
Water makes up a huge part of our blood, if we don’t have enough then the kidneys can struggle to filter out toxins and the heart cannot pump effectively if the volume of blood is low
So how can we make sure we get enough water?
We should all aim to drink between 2-3 L of water a day, more if you are very active. Here are some tips to help you easily up your water intake:
- Keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go.
My personal favourites are these measured water bottles available from https://www.motivationalbottle.com/
- Increase your intake of fresh fruit and Vegetables.
Fruit and Vegetables have a high water content and can make up 20% of your daily fluid intake if you eat the recommended 6 portions a day
- Flavour your water.
You are more likely to drink the recommended amount of water a day if you enjoy the taste of what you’re drinking. Add slices of fruit to it, or if you need more of a kick then sugar free squash is ok too.
- Have a drink with every meal.
If you make it a habit to have a drink with every meal then you’ll soon be on your way to getting your daily recommended intake of water.
- Counteract caffeine.
Caffeinated drinks counteract the effects of any water you drink and actually cause dehydration. To help prevent this make sure you drink a glass of water with every caffeinated drink you consume.