What is Hydration?
While we may know hydration as the necessity to keep topped up on liquids, scientifically speaking, hydration refers to the body’s ability to absorb water and how much water it is getting.
Why is Hydration Important?
Every organ and cell in our bodies require fluid to perform. This includes maintaining a healthy temperature, detoxifying your body and lubricating your joints. If you don’t consume enough liquid and you become dehydrated you lose fluid around your brain tissue. This will affect your overall cell function and risk your body shutting down. According to Medical News Daily, the human body can only go 3 days without water so it’s vital you stay hydrated.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water?
Although it’s a necessity, there are also a lot of benefits to drinking water, for both your body and your mind.
We’re often exposed to toxins day to day, which could risk infections. Water helps to detoxify the body by flushing any harmful toxins out of our systems, keeping us healthy.
Regulates Body Temperature
Our normal body temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius. If you’ve ever suffered from dehydration before, you’ll know it often leads to excessive sweating and a high temperature. Water helps to maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature.
Our brains contain 85% water, so ensuring this level is kept constant allows us to function better. Dehydration can lower cognitive function and mood, as well as increase memory loss. So drink plenty of water to avoid this.
Aids Weight Loss
Water can help minimize feelings of hunger. So if you consume water before a meal, fewer calories are likely to be consumed, meaning water can help significantly if you’re dieting.
Lower water consumption often comes hand in hand with constipation. Increasing hydration can help increase bowel movements. Mineral water in particular is said to help with this, as it’s rich in magnesium and sodium.
Research has shown that headaches are a common symptom of early dehydration. If you’re prone to frequent headaches, drinking water can help relieve them. This is why a big glass of water before bed has also been said to reduce the effect of a hangover the following day.
How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?
Generally speaking, the NHS advises you to drink 6-8 glasses of fluids a day. If you think this could be unachievable with water, turn to other liquids. Milk and sugar free drinks, such as tea and coffee, can all contribute towards this.
However, whether you’re sufficiently hydrated could also depend on a number of factors, including your age, your level of exercise and your environment. Generally speaking, the older you are, the more water you’ll need. The more you exercise, the more you should drink to replace sweat. This also applies to hotter climates, someone living on the equator is likely to need more water than someone in the Arctic. So be sure to tailor your water consumption to your needs.
Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough
If you’re concerned you’re not drinking enough water for you, there are some tell-tale signs you can look out for which suggests your body needs more liquids:
- Urine colour – If your urine is dark coloured, this suggests you’re not drinking enough
- Toilet frequency – Also if you’re heading to the toilet less than usual, you likely need to drink more
- Feeling thirsty – This feels like an obvious sign, but if you’re noticing thirst, quench it. This is one of the later symptoms of dehydration, so ideally don’t let it get to this point.
- Increasingly tired – Again it’s best to nip dehydration in the bud before it gets to this point, but if your energy levels have taken a dip, drink more water
How to Stay Hydrated
As well as drinking your recommended 8 glasses a day, there are some other things you can do to ensure you stay hydrated.
Alter Intake for Your Environment
As we mentioned, whether you’re sufficiently hydrated depends on your surroundings. If you’re in a particularly hot area you’re likely to need more than 8 glasses. This also applies if you’re exercising.
Avoid Extreme Heat
If the weather is particularly harsh, consider staying indoors in an air-conditioned environment and avoiding the sun between 10am and 2pm.
Keep Water Close
We’re all creatures of habit, so we may forget to drink enough water if we don’t have a glass next to us. Always ensure whatever you’re doing you have water nearby. Our water filter bottles are compact enough to take with you everywhere.
Flavour Your Water
Find water a bit too bland? Add fresh fruits or veggies to your bottle. Lemon, cucumber or mint are classics to make water taste nicer. Even a sparkling water dispenser can be enough to give water that little bit extra.
Eat Water-Rich Foods
As well as water, you can find hydration in a variety of foods. Water-rich fruits such as watermelon and strawberries are ideal for topping up your hydration levels, or vegetables such as tomatoes and celery.
If hydration is your main goal, many of our products can help you keep on track and ensure your water stays fresh, to find out more visit our consumer guides.