Do you drink your morning cuppa and then suffer with a dry mouth? Reach for a soft drink but it just doesn’t quench your thirst? This is your body telling you that you’re already dehydrated.
We all know our bodies need water for survival but it is easy to miss our daily quota if we are side-tracked by more colour and ‘tasty’ options. Your body requires water to complete a range of functions adequately that soft drinks, fruit juice, tea and coffee, or alcohol just can’t achieve.
So, what is water useful for, and why should you try to increase your water intake?
1. Keeps your body moving
Dehydration can inhibit your performance no matter what your level of physical fitness is. Without adequate amounts of water, your muscles may begin to underperform and leave you feeling weak. Staying hydrated keeps your joints lubricated and cushioned, enabling your body to move well.
2. Regulates your body temperature
Your body sweats as a means to cool itself, but in order for your body to sweat effectively it requires adequate water stores. Whether it is a hot day or you intend to exercise, make sure you fill up that water bottle and let your body fire up its natural cooling system.
3. Helps fight fatigue
Without enough water to assist with waste removal and detoxification, you might end up feeling tired and sluggish or even get a headache. Your body uses a lot of water while you sleep so it’s important to start your day with a couple of glasses of ‘liquid gold’ to replenish your water level. Try it and see how much more alert you are when you’re properly hydrated!
4. Reduces back pain
The discs between your vertebrae act like shock absorbers so that when you bend, twist and move about, the vertebrae can move freely. Without adequate hydration the jelly centre will shrink, placing stress on the outer layer of the disc. This can lead to swelling, pain, immobility, compromised range of motion, or even a more severe disc bulge or rupture. So drink up, and take care of your spine – you only have one!
5. Protects you from invaders
Just like your skin provides protection to the outside of your body, mucous membranes line and protect your insides. Keeping these membranes moist by drinking plenty of water allows them to repel dirt, dust and parasites before they reach and damage vital structures within your body.
6. Keeps you looking youthful
When your skin is dehydrated is produces more oil which can lead to dry and uneven patches, or even unsightly break outs. Water helps to maintain the texture and appearance of your skin, so up your water intake and nourish your skin from the inside out!
7. Helps flush away urinary problems
If you’re consuming the right amount of water your urine should be a light, straw colour. Darker yellow urine indicates that your urinary tract is excreting toxins and wastes in a concentrated form. To support healthy kidney and bladder function and to flush away toxins and bacteria that may lead to an infection or kidney stones, be sure to keep topping up that glass of water!
8. Promotes proper digestion
Water aids practically every aspect of your digestion, starting with the saliva that is produced in your mouth, right through to the smooth passing of a bowel motion. Without sufficient water you to be absorbed in the end stages of digestion you may find yourself constipated, so drink up and keep your digestive system moving.
9. Relieves hunger
It’s easy to confuse feelings of hunger for those of thirst. Nutrients are delivered to the cells of our body via water so when our body is calling out for more, we sometimes misinterpret those signals as hunger. Eating food when all your body really wants is a glass of water may lead to unnecessary weight gain over time, plus all those other signs of dehydration, so next time you’re feeling hungry, try some H20 first.
Tips to stay hydrated
A few easy tips to stay hydrated include;
- Carrying a water bottle – keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times will help remind you to drink water more frequently.
- Setting reminders – it can be easy to forget to drink water in our busy day-to-day lives. Setting reminders on your phone or using specific reminder apps can be a great way to keep you hydrated at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Infusing your water – if you find the taste of water too plain, add some flavour by infusing fruits or vegetables. Lemon, mint, berries and cucumber are great at adding flavour to your water and making it more enjoyable to drink.
- Avoid drinking to much caffeine or alcohol – these beverages can have a diuretic effect, leading to increased urine output and potential dehydration. Be sure to balance out drinks like coffee, tea or alcohol with extra water intake.
- Eat water-rich foods – include foods with high water content in your diet, like watermelon, cucumbers and oranges. These are examples of foods that will help to contribute to your daily water intake.
- Drink water with meals – get into the habit of drinking a glass of water before each meal. This will not only help with your hydration but also aid in digestive health.
Looking for more health advice?
Check out our other blogs here or for more tailored nutrition advice or wellness services get in touch today. To book an appointment, call our clinic on 03 5977 7488. Our friendly reception staff will help direct you to the most appropriate practitioner for your specific needs.
Category: General Health