3 key reasons why you need to stay hydrated!
By Doralise Halepis, Nutrition Student
You’ve heard the 8 glasses of water a day fact and thought it was too ridiculous or impossible too even attempt. We know the importance of hydration for our bodies and the simplest solution comes right out of the tap, but why do we find this basic nutritional principle so difficult? Of course for the average, sedentary lifestyle, 8 glasses may be a little excessive, but now with the hot weather ahead of us, staying hydrated is essential for staying beautiful inside and out! Remaining hydrated with water alone is commonly difficult, especially when we’re not thirsty! That’s why we have put together a list of healthy, delicious ways to keep our hydration in check and some motivating reasons as to why our bodies need so much of this H20.
Why do we need to stay hydrated?
Plenty of health issues and modern diseases have found to be directly linked to the digestive system. Yet with plenty of water, many of these diseases, such as bowel cancer and stomach ulcers, are quite preventable. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health! Some key reasons are listed below:
1. Missing regular bowel movements? Increase your fluids, as well as your soluble and insoluble fibre intake to start noticing a positive difference.
2. Not only does hydration play an important role in digestion, it assists us to stay alert during the day and prevent the unwanted fatigue and headaches. Dehydration headaches are not easily identifiable as they can occur in any region of your skull, but a common characteristic found, is that movement, such as walking, or even something simple like lifting an object will increase the severity of the pain. When you become dehydrated your brain tissue loses moisture, causing the brain to pull away from the skull, triggering the pain receptors. It also causes your blood volume to drop, meaning less oxygen can be carried to the brain- certainly not a good thing for our health!
3. Constant aches and pains when we exercise are a good indication that a part of our body isn’t functioning properly. Often when we strain our muscles during a workout, they do not get replenished adequately with the fluid they require. Constantly under-hydrating our body during exercise can make these pains more long term and seriously inhibit our performance. We obviously want to work as hard as we can during our precious workout time, so make sure you have a big bottle of water ready to go and learn the location of the closest taps for when you need a refill!
Tips to increase hydration
A refreshing way to stay hydrated, coconut water is a great beverage to keep your appetite in check and your skin glowing. Although very low in calories (make sure you purchase 100% natural, no added sugar variety) it is very rich, helping you keep snacking to a minimum. Its nutritional properties are great for drawing away any excessive oil build-up on the skin, assisting in the elimination of blemishes.
Having your favourite ice tea blend is fantastic for cooling down in the heat or as a relaxing beverage after work. Brew your preferred tea into a large jug and chill overnight. Enjoy with a few ice cubes and a slice of lemon!
The best source of hydration, water is essential for all body functions. Regulating our body temperature, aiding in digestion and keeping our skin and eyes glowing are just some of the ways water is utilised in our bodies. The most common reason for dry lips and skin is dehydration, as well as dry, brittle hair- nothing us ladies ever want to have! Our ordinary, busy lifestyles often distract us from our regular body needs. Keeping a water bottle on hand and setting a regular timer on our phone is a great way to remind us to stay hydrated!
Fruit Infused Water
If plain water isn’t your cup of tea, try adding in some slices of your favourite fruits, such as lemon, orange, strawberries and kiwi. This will keep you hydrated, minus the sugar and additives of fruit-flavoured beverages and can be frozen into popsicles for those hot summer days!
A great alternative to the sugar laden/artificially sweetened soft drinks, sparkling water is great for hydration and digestion after over indulging in those summer barbeques! Infuse this carbonated water with your favourite fruit and herbs to serve at your next function, your guests will enjoy this great take on your average not-so-healthy beverages!