The Not-So-Obvious Importance of Staying Hydrated
Posted on 16th August 2021 at 10:21
Good hydration is one of the most important aspects of our diet. By drinking enough liquids, our fluid levels in our bodies are kept topped up, which ensures that all our bodily functions are able to still take place.
Human bodies are approximately 70% water. So now think about how much water you drink on a day-to-day basis. Do you think you drink enough?
Why Do We Need Fluids?
Water is essential for many important processes to take place within our bodies. This includes; the transportation of glucose, oxygen, and nutrients from our blood into the cells; helping our kidneys flush out waste products; lubricating our joints and eyes, helping our digestive system; and keeping our skin healthy.
The human species are designed to regulate our own body temperature, especially in hot conditions. We do this by losing water through the skin (perspiration), which in turn helps cool the body and help maintain a stable temperature. The more water we lose through sweat, the more we need to replace. Therefore, we have to be drinking fluids more regularly to replace the fluid lost when in hotter climates/conditions.
How Do I Know If I Am Hydrated Enough?
This is pretty easy to tell, if you drink enough water, you will be going to the toilet quite regularly. Also, by looking at the colour of your urine gives a good indication if you are hydrated enough. The darker the colour, the more dehydrated you are.
Some people think that it depends on how thirsty you are, however, research has shown that thirst does not kick in properly until you are dehydrated.
How Much Do I Need?
For adults it is recommended that we drink between 1.5-2 litres of fluid a day, which equates to at least 8 glasses a day. Children need slightly less; they should aim for around 6-8 drinks a day.
Fluid needs can vary depending on different factors, such as level of activity. Performance can drop if the person is not adequately hydrated. This is why you see athletes drinking isotonic drinks as it replaces both the fluids and salts lost through sweat. But for non-athletes a standard bottle of water will do the job - just remember drink a little every now and again.
Does Tea And Coffee Count As Fluids?
Any drink will help promote hydration. Water is the easiest to drink as it’s readily available and free. Other drinks that are all over 85% water can be included in your total fluid intake such as, milk, fruit juice, and soft drinks.
There has always been confusion around tea and coffee being included in your total fluid intake. Some people think that it does not hydrate you because of the caffeine intake. Although caffeine is a mild diuretic, the fluid provided by a cup of coffee or tea outweighs the mild dehydrating effect of caffeine and the fluid levels within the body improve.
Most fluid we consume comes from drinks, but around 20-30% comes from foods. Many fruit and vegetables such as cucumbers, melons, and tomatoes are all over 90% water and make a good contribution to our overall fluid consumption.
Should I Drink More After A Massage?
Yes, it’s essential to drink plenty of water before and after a massage.
It is good to drink plenty beforehand, as hydrated muscles are easier to massage.
It is important to drink plenty afterwards due to the toxins and chemicals that are normally stored within your fat cells get released. This can make you feel light-headed for a short period of time and could lead to a headache. So, by drinking plenty afterwards it helps your body flush out these toxins.
Good hydration is critical to health and keeps our bodies performing at their best. So, in simple terms, make sure you always have a bottle of water close by to keep on top of your fluid levels and keep the thirst at bay. Your body will thank you.
Tagged as: hydration
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