Water is essential for life. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and it performs crucial roles including:
Carrying nutrients and waste products between our major organs
Helping to regulate body temperature
Lubricating our joints and acting as a shock absorber
Every day we lose some of that water through urination, sweat, tears, and even breathing. Research shows that losses of 2% or more can reduce cognitive (mental) performance.
The human body works to maintain optimal hydration. It uses hormones to control how much we urinate and gives our brains signals to tell us that we are thirsty. However, it’s important to note that as we age this signalling isn’t as strong and can’t be relied on 100%.
As our brains are 73% water, insufficient hydration can have an adverse effect on how our brains function. So, it’s important to stay hydrated and replace what is lost.
Dehydration can contribute to:
Dry skin, mouth, lips, eyes
Dark circles under the eyes
Dark urine colour
It is easy to get swept up in our busy days and forget to drink water. During the warmer and more humid months we lose more through perspiration and breathing so the demand for us to replace it is greater.
We should all be aiming for 1.5-2 litres of water a day. However, when it’s hot or if you’re exercising or using saunas increase this by around 1 litre.
Top tips for increasing your water intake.
1. Make it more interesting and mix it up. Try:
Herbal teas – great for winter when you want to keep warm
A squeeze of fresh citrus (lemon, lime, orange)
Berries and ice
Cucumber and mint
Even a drop of no added sugar squash
2. Buy yourself a large, BPA and phthalate free bottle so you have something with you all day that only requires refilling once or twice. If you need a target and extra reminder, get one with times/hours on the side to help make a habit.
3. Include hydrating foods in your meals daily. Foods like:
Stock based stews and soups too
If you're still struggling...
Download an app like Water Reminder or Habit Tracker to help you get into a routine and embed good habits.
Feels overwhelming to get to 2 litres? Start with just one extra glass of water and work your way up.
If you want to learn more about your health, reach out to me today!
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Kelly is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who focuses on positive physical and mental wellbeing, achieved through diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise. Having struggled for years with IBS and hormonal imbalance, and increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and helpful advice from her GP, Kelly began her own journey of healing the body from the inside out. After seeing huge improvements she quit her job to study nutrition and focus on harnessing the healing powers of food to help other people in similar situations.