Did you know that 60% of our bodies are composed of water, 75% in our muscles, and 85% to our brains! It is literally the oil which keeps our “machines” going. Now, what if we also told you that 80% of Australians are currently living in a chronic state of dehydration!
It is very important that we understand how much water we need, what it can do for the body (or not do) and how we can get more water into our daily routine.
Water is so crucial and necessary for the body and many of its functions, however there are an alarming amount of people who are extremely dehydrated and don’t even know it.
Water is essential for the digestion of key nutrients and vitamins and is essential for our body’s natural detoxification pathways of the liver and kidney.
Over time, without proper hydration, a wide range of medical complications can arise.
These may show up in short-term cases as headaches, weakness, lack of concentration, dry or cracked lips, mood changes, delayed reaction times and fatigue; However, symptoms can be exacerbated to more severe disorders and chronic conditions such as ulcers, sleep disorders, high blood pressure and kidney disease if they are not recognised and treated.
So how will you know if you are well hydrated or dehydrated? Firstly, if you are experiencing regular headaches and fatigue, this could be a sign. Secondly, your urine is a key indicator for recognising our levels of hydration. Ideally, your urine should be a light, straw colour and if it is dark in colour it is most likely indicative of dehydration.
How much water should we be drinking? This will vary depending on your BMI and other factors such as your age, diet, climate, season and your level of physical activity. In saying that, 2L or 10 cups per day is a good baseline measurement for most Australians. In Winter, it can be easy to become dehydrated further due to heating systems, feeling physically too cold to consume water and relative for now, even the use of masks and restrictive face coverings. This means we need to be extra attentive right now and in the colder months as it can be easy to fall into a state of dehydration. In addition to these factors, much of our fluid intake can have a harmful effect on our health. Caffeinated, alcoholic and diuretic beverages may contribute to the problem as they have the opposite effect to water and will further dehydrate the body.
For many people, it can be difficult to reach the required daily amount and some just can’t stand the taste of water. This is a common issue amongst many people, however it is one which can be solved easily. Adding citrus fruits and herbs to your water can bring your water to life and can change the experience to be a positively associated one. Your body is unique in the way that it will signal you to ‘want water’ in food, in any shape or form. By adding flavourings and the taste of fruits and herbs to your water, this can completely change the signalling process to then ‘want’ that water.
One of our favourite combinations at The House of Life is filtered water with sliced orange, lemon or grapefruit with mint, basil or rosemary. Give this a try!
Many people would not know this, but drinking herbal tea also counts toward your water intake, so why not make a pot or two for the day and add this to your intake. We have a beautiful range of herbal teas, with and without caffeine, which are perfect for sipping on all day. At the moment, Jade Palace Immune Enhancing Tea is an ideal blend with the added immunity boost. Not to mention, it is delicious and soothing at the same time.
Most good habits take dedication and practice, so why not try make small reminders to yourself throughout the day to consume your water. Your body will thank you for it and you will feel the benefits of being well hydrated.