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.

Fall in love with wellness

Love is in the air this month, and if you aren’t sure how to stay in the spirit, we’ve got you covered. Here are some ways that you can incorporate wellness into your day, every day.

Opt Outside
Next time you’re planning what to do, let Mother Nature tag along (she even provides the flowers). Her interests include things like long walks on the beach, beautiful hikes and providing breathtaking views while the sun rises and sets. Spending an active day outside will bring you so much more than physical wellness—it’s a good pick-me-up for the soul, too.

Try Something New
It’s been a month since you set those resolutions for 2016. If you’re anything like me, you already feel like it’s going to be a long year trying to keep them. Lucky for us, the MINDBODY app is full of exciting new things to try. Reignite the spark by doing something you’ve never done before. Whether it’s a class you’ve always wanted to take or one that randomly caught your eye, just book it. You never know, you may even find your new favorite class or activity.

Treat Yourself
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but the journey to achieving wellness in your life truly starts within. Spend some time doing something that makes you feel your best. Book yourself a well-deserved spa trip or relaxing massage. And the best part? The MINDBODY app can also help you find and book some great deals. You are officially out of excuses.

The bottom line: Try to work in wellness throughout this month. It’s an easy way to fall in love with a healthier, happier life—and that’s something worth celebrating. Cheers!

Could you be suffering with low or high stomach acid?

Contrary to popular belief, indigestion is usually caused by low stomach acid — also called hypochlorhydria — and it affects up to half of our population.

Unfortunately doctors don’t check to see if you are suffering from high or low stomach acid and will prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as Omeprozole, Pantaprozole, Lanzaprosole or you may reach for an antacid over the counter.

PPI’s are only meant for short term use of a maximum of 8 weeks. They have side effects of blocking the absorption of certain nutrients so long term this can lead to other imbalances in your body. Antacids are only meant for occasional use for the same reason.

These medications just suppress your symptoms. It’s important to understand what has caused the problem and heal your body from this “root cause”.

It’s important to know if you are suffering from high or low stomach acid because the nutritional support is different.

If you have low stomach acid you could be suffering from any of these symptoms:

  • Bloating, belching, burning sensation, wind after meals
  • Feeling particularly full after eating
  • Indigestion/heartburn/acid reflux
  • Bloating
  • Burning sensation 30-40 mins after eating
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Food allergies/intolerances
  • Nausea
  • Itch around the rectum
  • Weak, peeling and cracking nails
  • Thread veins around cheek and nose
  • Acne/dry skin
  • Iron deficient anaemia/B12 deficiency
  • Hair loss in women
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Parasites
  • Candida
  • Dysbiosis
  • Undigested food in your stools
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Low bone density
  • Poor immunity
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • No symptoms

Some causes of low stomach acid:

  • Stress
  • A diet rich in processed foods/mineral deficiency (certain minerals are needed for the production of HCL)
  • Smoking
  • Some medications
  • Helicobacter Pylori infection – this infection neutralizes and decreases the secretion of HCL to aid it’s survival
  • Alcohol/caffeine
  • Low protein/high carbohydrate diet
  • Aging – the production of HCL slows down as you age
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Zinc deficiency – this can be a catch 22 situation. You need zinc to make stomach acid, but you need stomach acid to absorb zinc
  • History of eating disorders

If you have high stomach acid you could be suffering from any of these symptoms:

  • Burning sensation immediately after eating
  • GERD
  • Worse lying down at night
  • Ulcers
  • Burping
  • A sensation of food being stuck in your throat
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Triggers for high stomach acid

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol over consumption
  • Caffeine over consumption
  • Some medications
  • Being over weight
  • Excessive exercise
  • A diet high in refined, processed foods
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Food intolerances
  • Pregnancy

You need Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) in your stomach for many functions:

Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCl), is a very powerful digestive agent, and much more important than you realize.

  • To break down proteins into smaller molecules
  • For your stomach to empty properly
  • As a line of defense against pathogenic bacteria and yeast found in our food
  • Your stomach needs an acid pH to absorb certain nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, B12, selenium and boron
  • To stimulate the pancreas and small intestines to produce digestive enzymes and bile to break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If all your food is not broken down properly in your stomach this leads to problems further down in your digestive tract
  • To prevent disease by killing “bad” bacteria and yeast present in food.

You can test to see if your stomach acid is too high or too low.

  1. First thing one morning, on an empty stomach, before eating, drinking, brushing teeth
  2. Add 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda to 100mls slightly warm water
  3. Drink the mixture (it may taste slightly salty)
  4. Time for a burp!!! Don’t expect this to be a belch. It should feel like little air bubbles coming up from your stomach to your throat. You are doing a little chemistry experiment in your stomach. Mixing the alkalinitity of the bicarb with the acidity in your stomach. Obviously this isn’t a super scientific test but it does give you an indication.
  5. Do this test 3 days in a row to get an average result.
  • Optimal burp time 1-2mins
  • If you burp before 1 mins your stomach acid is too high and we need to calm digestive fire
  • If you burp between 2-3mins you have slightly low levels of stomach acid
  • If you burp between 3-5 mins your stomach acid is low
  • Anything after 5 mins and you have super low or no stomach acid
  • There are specific nutritional protocols to help your body get back to balance depending on your results.