Depending on your gender, body type and composition, your body may be made up of 60-70% of water. We need it to eat, sleep, exercise, and to excrete everyday toxins from the body. It is the single most important nutrient the body uses, and we couldn’t live without it.
The body’s ability to manage water at every level (even down to individual cells) is described by the term ‘Hydration’. Hydation implies the water is absorbed efficiently at a cellular level as well as by the body as a whole.
Benefits of Hydration
Human beings need to be adequately hydrated in order for the body to carry on with its daily tasks. Water:
- Washes out toxins waste products from cells, delivering it to different excretion organs where it forms a component of our saliva, stools and urine.
- Lubricates and cushions both the bone and brain tissues
- Regulates body temperature via perspiration
- Transports nutrients between the cells of the body
- Is responsible for the correct metabolism of all other nutrients and provides a platform on which the correct biochemistry can occur.
- Carries waste away from the body cells
- Makes up 83% of the blood
- Makes up 76% of muscles
- Makes up 22% of bone tissue
How to Stay Hydrated
To stay hydrated, it is recommended you drnk eight glasses of water a day, no matter what size and shape you come in. You may need to increase your water intake with:
- Increased exercise that incurs sweat, heat and respiration.
- Hotter temperatures and greater humidity.
- When alcohol, caffeine, prescription and recreational drugs are consumed.
- When you are sick and/or with a fever.
It is essential to stay hydrated and keep your fluid levels up in times of sickness and fever. Secretions expelled by the body (from the eyes, nose, throat and lungs) are thinned out by water, and are therefore more easily eliminated when we are adequately hydrated. It is recommended to double your fluid intake when you are unwell, and may be taken in the forms of water, herbal teas, juices and vegetable broth.
The make up of different types of water can affect the body’s adequate absorption of it, leaving the body not as hydrated as it should be after a big drink.
Tap waterDepending on where you live, tap water may come from a clean, natural water source, or may be contaminated with millions of tap chemicals that are a result of the industrial activity of the 20th century. These chemicals have unknown long term detrimental effects and a direct effect on the hydration process.
Distilled waterWhen water is vaporised and collected to produce distilled water, it leaves behind all solid residues, including the mineral salts essential to the hydration process in the body.
Reverse osmosis waterLarger pollutants, particles and minerals are removed through a membrane to create reverse osmosis water. This creates a mineral-free, acidic environment in which water absorption is hindered preventing adequate hydration.
Bottled WaterBottled water poses the issue of potential contaminants that have been picked up from unprotected water sources or from the plastic packaging itself. Both factors pose health risks that can interfere with adequate hydration.
When you are adequately hydrated, your body will thank you by increasing your energy levels, regulating your sleep patterns, improving the look of your skin and speeding up recovery times from illness. Hydration also allows for easier digestion and relief from constipation, relieves your PMS and reduces other sensitivities such as allergies.
Follow these tips to make sure you are adequately hydrated throughout the day:
- After waking from sleep, drink a big glass of water which your body will be craving after a night without it.
- Some homeopathic remedies may be used to activate hydration mechanisms.
- Drink small amount of water consistently throughout the day to quench your thirst without the problem of frequent urination.
- Check your urine regularly. You are adequately hydrated if it’s transparent and light in colour. If it’s a darker yellow, increase your water intake