Are you drinking enough water, and is the water from a good source?

IMG_6556.JPG

Staying hydrated is important for everyone

Alison Stockton

Water,is all around us and our bodies are made up of 70% water.

I want to share one of the first tips and possibly most important things I learned in the early stages of my 20 year career in health and wellness was, all about H2O, and one of the things that has stuck with me ever since, encouraging every woman, man and child to drink enough water on a daily basis.

It has been researched (in adults) that if we feel:

  • Extreme thirst

  • Less frequent urination

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

    That you are already in the stages of dehydration.
    While you might think that all you need to do is drink more water, there are other important factors that contribute to staying hydrated, flushing out the toxins in your body, and resetting your health and gut health, yes dehydration can also affect the health of your gut! 

  • Do any of these symptoms apply to you?

QUANTITY, how much should we drink?

Water needs are highly bio-individual.

There are a few things to consider here.

Everything from age, sex, size, activity level, to current state of health all affect the amount of water needed each day.

The general recommendations are 2.7 liters per day for women and 3.7 liters per day for men.

Approximately 20% of daily water needs are actually met through diet (the food we eat, as long as the food is of good source and preferably organic ), so it’s important to include hydrating foods, like fruits and vegetables, in your meals throughout the day.

BENEFITS

QUALITY

Where you’re getting your water from is also essential to proper hydration and a healthy gut function, outside elements, such as your environment and toxins, play a key role as well as the water filtration system. If your inner city based a water filter system is always recommended. (see more below)

The quality of the water you’re drinking is just as important as the quantity. And, everything from agriculture to chemicals from industry runoff to household plumbing can affect the quality of tap water.

Drinking spring or filtered water can help reduce your exposure to contaminants sometimes found in tap water. (Note this is not the case for all water)

Use a good at-home filter to reduce exposure to common contaminants, like chromium, lead, and atrazine (As of 2001, atrazine was the most commonly detected pesticide contaminating drinking water in the United States, and checks in the Uk concluded lower levels, you can go online and check your local water authority)


GLOWING SKIN

Your skin is considered the largest organ in the body and did you know it is also the last component to absorb nutrients!

Since drinking water helps to hydrate your cells, when you drink enough, your skin will have a healthy glow and likely appear more youthful!

MENTAL FOCUS

Since your brain (actually our entire body) is made of about 70% water, maintaining proper hydration will help you to think, focus, stay alert and have more clarity throughout your day. We can be at least 2% dehydrated before we really notice, and this can affect our mood as well as our performance.

digestive regularity

Fiber tends to get all the credit when it comes to digestive regularity, however being dehydrated can lead to constipation. Water is needed to allow the fiber to digest and assists in peristalsis and ensuring each cell has sufficient water and nutrients.

Drinking water is essential for keeping your gut health in top shape as it helps our cells and peristalsis in the digestive tract.

fewer cravings

Dehydration can sometimes be confused with hunger, so drinking enough water may actually help reduce cravings (and assist in managing your weight). This means you’re more likely to eat in support of your energy needs and make food choices that best support gut health which also improve intuitive eating healthy habits.

more energy

Water helps alleviate common signs of dehydration, like headaches and fatigue, so you’re bound to feel less sluggish throughout the day, and more energy too, because your brain will be feeling more focused, you may find yourself also improving your daily step counter initially when you improve and increase your water intake, because your body will begin to flush toxins from your body and so more bathroom visits will increase your step counts each day too. (See more on hydration when exercising below)

water when working out

Let’s break this down a little for you, if your doing a heavy workout or working out in the heat then you should be aiming to drink 16-32 oz (almost 500ml -1 ltr) every hour during the workout. One thing I noticed when training for my sprint triathlons was then when we did pool work, many athletes forgot to drink water, however even though you are in the water you still need to hydrate on the inside too.

tips:

I know, incorporating more water into your daily lifestyle can get boring, (if you are not yet used to it and it’s benefits) so here are a few ways to mix it up and get creative!

Adding more water into your everyday routine won’t significantly alter your microbiome overnight. 

When it comes to your health, just like anything you want to improve upon, it takes time to see results, but results will only be seen with consistency. Remember to be patient and listen to your body and keep going.

fullsizeoutput_3ba4.jpg

EXTRA tips

If drinking water sometimes feels like hard work, check out these fun tips to help make it easier!

• Add a squeeze of lemon or lime – sometimes just one drop of acidity can make water taste that much better and can assist in alkalinity (be mindful of your tooth enamel (use a steel or glass straw if adding citrus).

• Bring the spa home with you! Add some cucumber, melon, or even berries into your water – mix it up to keep every sip interesting!

• Invest in a reusable water bottle to keep with you. Make it a goal to fill it up multiple times each day.

Drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning to stimulate digestion and rehydrate from the night.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water; thirst is a sign of dehydration.

If your a soda drinker, rather that water, to meet your hydration needs, you may prefer to opt for water with fresh fruit (lemons, limes, berries etc) rather than sugar-sweetened beverages! (*even the “sugar free” still come with health risks)