Are you drinking enough water?

Did you know that between 60% to 70% of our body is made up of water? Many of our internal organs are composed of even more than that and our bones surprisingly are around 30%. Water is an essential component for our survival. The human can survive for about two months without food but only around two days without water!

Water enables cells to grow and carries oxygen around the body and is essential in the regulation of our internal body temperature. Water is also the carrier of waste products out of the body; these waste products need to be dissolved in water as they are processed by the kidneys. Water provides for many processes including metabolising food, lubricating joints and keeping our eyes healthy. We can in certain situations lose more water than is safe and dehydration can occur – this could be through sweating too much, high fever, vomiting or diarrhoea. In many cases people can get dehydrated from simply not drinking enough.

Symptoms of dehydration occur when the body is working overtime to accommodate the problem. These can include a dry mouth, tiredness and fatigue, headaches, constipation, dizziness and muscle cramps. Craving sweet things, halitosis (bad breath) and mood changes can also indicate general dehydration. Also dry skin, allergies, asthma and low blood pressure can be signs to watch out for.

A quick test to see if you are dehydrated can be done simply by pinching gently a roll of skin on the back of your hand between your watch and where your fingers start to about ½cm high. When you let go the skin should spring back to its normal form very quickly; if it reforms slowly, it can indicate your hydration levels are low. Another easy test is to look at the colour of your urine. If you are fully hydrated, your urine should be almost clear; however, if you are about 3% dehydrated, your urine will be a lot more yellow in colour. If you are more than 5% dehydrated, your urine can appear orange in colour.

Tips to help you up your water intake and ensure sufficient hydration.

1. Keep a bottle of water with you all day and sip throughout.
2. Enhance the flavour by adding cucumber, lemon or lime or frozen fruit.
3. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables which contain water in their own right.
4. If drinking alcohol, make sure you have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

Try to monitor how much you intake and try to increase your levels. You will be amazed at the benefits and can feel much healthier in a very short space of time.