We often worry about how much and what we eat but how often do we consider what we drink – probably not enough! 65% of our bodies are made up of water and our bodies tell us that they are dehydrated in ways that you probably never before considered!
Hormones in our bodies will divert fluid from less important parts of our bodies to keep the more vital parts functioning well – so if we don’t have enough water going to our brain, heart or liver for example – water gets diverted from our skin, muscles and joints … so this could contribute to those wrinkles or to us hurting when we move.
Why do we need so much water?
Water carries chemicals, minerals, nutrients and oxygen around our bodies.
Water helps to maintain body temperature, get rid of waste products, acts as a shock absorber and joint lubricant, keeps our eyes, nose and mouth moist and keeps our muscles and fascia functioning well and without pain.
We may experience any of the following:-
Greater pain awareness
Migraines or headaches
Urinary tract infections
As well as Muscle pain Memory loss Difficulty concentrating Feeling agitated Difficulty sleeping
Why do we become dehydrated?
We naturally lose between 2 and 3 litres of water every day naturally by breathing, sweating, passing urine and having bowel movements. We need to replace it and also we need to understand how the food we eat can mean we need more fluid to balance the levels.
How to stop becoming dehydrated
It isn’t just about drinking more water, more regularly although that helps of course.
Too much water intake can be bad for us too – it can flush out the nutrients and chemicals that our cells need. Therefore we need to understand how else to hydrate out bodies.
Recent research has found that the water found in fruits and vegetables can be better at hydrating us than just drinking. For example, apples eaten at the same time as drinking act like sponges to absorb the water and keep the water in the body for longer.
If we reduce the amount of processed food we eat then we retain more water because processed foods are high in salt, which makes us lose more fluid to dilute it to an acceptable level for the body.
Other foods that cause us to dehydrate are alcohol, sugary food and caffeinated drinks – so if we keep these to a minimum in our diet then we can naturally help our bodies retain water.
When we understand that eating and drinking these things means we need to think more about replenishing our fluid levels then we can make sure we eat more salad with our pizza or have a fruit salad after a curry. It will all help us to stay healthy without making huge changes to what we eat.
Best foods to aid hydration
Cucumber Lettuce Celery Courgettes Tomatoes Peppers Cauliflower Spinach
Broccoli Carrots Beansprouts Radishes
Watermelon Pineapple Apples Pears Kiwi Fruit Strawberries Raspberries Blueberries Grapes Melon
So – maybe have a think and if you are feeling a bit lethargic or stiff and sore – have a look at what you are eating and drinking and experiment and see how you feel one week down the line – you might be surprised – I was!