Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Water is THE most essential nutrient to all life. Did you know that without water, humans can usually only live for 3 days? When you were born you were probably about 75% water but by the time most adults reach 30 years old, their body water has decreased to around 57-60%.
Common Signs Of Dehydration: 💧Thirst
💧Dry mouth/lack of saliva 💧Constipation 💧Headaches 💧Irritability 💧Bad breathe 💧Lack of concentration 💧Yellow and/or minimal urine 💧Shrivelled dry/tight skin 💧Muscle cramps Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and can lead to over eating. So, next time you think you're hungry, drink a glass of water, wait for a bit and then ask yourself if you are still hungry...see what happens.
Drinking lots of water doesn't necessarily mean that you are hydrated. For your cells to absorb the water you drink, you need adequate calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and potassium. Some of these minerals travel inside the cell and some remain outside. If there is a mineral imbalance and water stays outside of the cell, it can result in oedema (fluid retention) and feelings of puffiness and bloating.
Chronic dehydration can lead to pain, inflammation and the development of degenerative disease. Most patients I see are deficient in water, so below are some simple ways you can increase your daily water intake and be kinder to your body.
Increase Your Water Intake & Hydration s
Start each morning by drinking a glass of water (hot or cold) before doing anything else. Start with 250ml and increase once you get into the habit. Adding a few slices of lemon will help to kick-start your digestion.
Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables they contain high amounts of water as well as fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Limit caffeinated drinks to one or two per day as they are diuretic, meaning that they increase water excretion.
Alcohol is another diuretic, so limit alcohol intake and when you do have a beer or glass or wine make sure you drink at least one glass of water for each unit.
Try non-caffeinated hot and cold brew fruit or herbal teas.
Increase your mineral intake - one way to do this is by adding leafy greens to your nutrition intake each day. Many green leafy veggies contain calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as other essential micronutrients.
Nuts and seeds are also a good source of minerals which are required for your body to be able to absorb water.
If you find water boring or hard to drink, add fresh lemon, lime, mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, berries or cucumber to subtly flavour it.
Carry a (non-plastic)water bottle with you to sip on throughout the day, so that you can easily monitor your intake. Aim to drink at least one bottle before lunch, another at least 30 minutes before dinner.
Try using a water app to set yourself a goal and track your progress.
Remember to stop drinking water about 2 hours before bedtime, so you don't interrupt your sleep to go to the bathroom!
Author: Terese Boyes