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Staying Hydrated

Water! Our bodies are about 55-60% water. Water is so essential to our health that without it we would die within a few days.

Dehydration can contribute to loss of energy, headaches and general sluggishness. Many of us typically don't get enough hydration and this is why drinking more water has been recommended by healthcare professionals for decades.

I am often asked 'how much water is enough?' The government advice is 6-8 glasses or 1.5 - 2.5 litres a day.

This is a good enough guide but as our bodies and our needs are all so different the best way to ensure your getting enough water is to pay attention to your body.

If you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated. Ideally you would never feel thirst.

Rather than drinking large quantities of water in one go the best way to stay hydrated is to drink little and often. Experiment to see what works for you but you could aim to drink 1/2 a pint every half an hour.

There are a number of apps that are designed to encourage you to track your water intake - you can log how much you drink in a day and programme your phone to remind you to drink at regular intervals.

"Eat your water"

You may have heard of the popular phrase 'eat your water'. This is the idea that a lot of foods have a high water content (consider the cucumber). When we eat more water-rich foods, we absorb water more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods. That slow absorption means that water in food stays in our bodies longer, with a multitude of additional benefits.

Hot weather, exercise, massage, stress and illness are all reasons to increase your usual water consumption.

Some people are put off the idea of upping their water intake as they feel they'll spend all their time running to the loo! Although this might be the case when you first increase your water, your body will soon adjust.

A quick word of warning about drinking too much water now - it is possible to overdo it. Too much can actually cause a loss of vitamins and minerals as they get flushed out as the body voids excess fluids.

Drinking too much water can increase the pressure inside the skull and in rare but severe cases, water intoxication can cause seizures, brain damage, a coma, and even death.

If you are still not convinced of the wonders of water have a look at this short video


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