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Are you drinking enough water?


Our bodies are made up of 60% water, seems incredible doesn't it? But without such a high percentage of water in our system, our bodies just couldn’t function. Drinking plenty of water is important for a whole host of reasons.  All the cells and organs in our body need water to function properly.

Try drinking a glass of water or two with your breakfast or drinking an extra glass of water every day – you’ll soon feel the benefits. Give your body a welcome hydration boost - don't wait until you feel thirsty because that's a signal you are already dehydrated.

Staying hydrated is important—and one of the best things you can do for your body.Benefits include increasing energy levels, promoting weight loss, flushing out toxins, and boosting the immune system. Why not set yourself the challenge to drink more water? Your mission is simple: aim to drink one more glass of water than you normally would, each day for 30 days in a row. It's okay if you miss a day here and there, don't worry, just do your best.

Steady and consistent hydration is the best way to ensure your body is getting what it needs. Often, we miss the signs of dehydration simply because we don't feel thirsty. But thirst isn't the only indicator of dehydration, there can be all sorts of clues:

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Headache
  • Dry lips or eyes
  • Less frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Foggy/fuzzy head
  • Tiredness

Dehydration is not always caused in the most obvious of ways either, we all know that hot weather, exercise and illness can dehydrate us. But also an evening of drinking alcohol will cause your kidneys to flush out extra sodium and water through the body when you urinate, because alcohol is a diuretic. The same is true of tea & coffee, as caffeine is a mild diuretic too. How can we make drinking water a habit, so that it counteracts all the different ways that we lose fluids throughout the day?


Start your day with water!
According to thegrocer.co.uk 32% of consumers say they are unable to start their day without a cup of tea. Perhaps you feel the same way about coffee? Either way, try drinking a glass of water whilst the kettle is boiling. It's a really simple way to get water into your system before the day has even got started with some caffeine! Your body with thank you for it, particularly if you haven't drunk any water during the night.

Habit hacking
Once you have that precious cuppa or coffee in hand, it's easy to roll from one hot drink into the next. These sort of routines are usually deeply ingrained habits, so how can we still enjoy a hot-drink-habit without dehydrating?

1. As with first thing in the morning, you could begin by drinking a glass of water whilst the kettle boils
2. Make your usual hot drink, and a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon - 2 for the price of 1!
3. Alternate between a caffeinated hot drink and a herbal / fruit tea, or glass of water or squash. Mix it up.

Keep track!
There are so many ways to log how much water you are consuming every day and it's a great motivator too. Try one of these ideas to help you get into the habit of drinking enough! 

  • Download a water tracking app to your mobile phone
    There are so many apps to choose from, sometimes water trackers are also included in fitness & nutrition apps like My Fitness Pal, FitBit or Noom.
  • Set reminders
    If you are desk bound or a busy bee always on your feet, it may slip your mind to grab a glass or two of water regularly. So why not plug a reminder into your phone? PING!

  • Water on the go
    It's become quite a modern habit to carry a bottle of water with us wherever we go, or to always have one to hand on your desk. If you haven't yet invested in a reusable water bottle, there are lots of bottles available to buy that have clear measures on them so that you know how much water you are consuming a day - and refills are easy too!



It lubricates your joints

Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints' shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain. Cartilage found in joints and the disks of the spine contains around 80 percent water.

It forms saliva and mucus

Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps our mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweet drinks, it can also reduce tooth decay.

It boosts skin health

With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders.

It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues

Regular dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning. It can affect brain function and structure. It’s also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Keeping hydrated protects your brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues.

It regulates body temperature

Keeping hydrated is important to maintain body temperature, as it's connected to the production of sweat. Sweat keeps you cool so your temperature will rise if you don't refresh the water you lose.

It helps your digestion

The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.

It helps maintain blood pressure

A lack of water can cause our blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.

One last thing...

Any additional non-alcoholic fluids are good for your general health and wellbeing. Don't forget that water-rich foods are also a great way to stay hydrated, so stock up on cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, grapes and lettuce!

More information on hydration from the NHS:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/

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