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We all drink it, we cook with it, we use it wash, we swim in it just to mention a few things we do with it. We are talking about H20 commonly known as water. You may even remember talking about the wat

er cycle in school and how water changes states, from ice to water to steam. There is even a scientific field dedicated to the study of the movement, distribution, and management of water on Earth and other planets called hydrology. Interestingly water accounts for up to 70 % of an adult’s body weight therefore it’s important we take water and hydration seriously.

As its world water day, I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about the importance of hydration. Good hydration is one of the most important aspects of a diet as drinking enough liquids to keep the fluid levels in the body topped up helps to ensure that all bodily functions can take place as normal.

Whys is hydration important?

The benefits of staying well hydrated are numerous. They include the ability for the body to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

Keeping hydrated is so important in the body that even when fluid levels drop only slightly, we begin to feel the consequences. Low levels of fluid in the body can cause headaches, feelings of dizziness, lethargy, poor concentration, and a dry mouth. Over a longer term, dehydration can cause constipation and can be associated with urinary tract infections and the formation of kidney stones. Regular and adequate intakes of fluid can help to address these.

How much should I be drinking?

As a rule of thumb, I always say if you ‘feel’ thirsty, then it is too late you are overdue a drink. The colour (and sometimes smell) of your urine is also always a good indicator of your level of hydration. The recommendation for adults is 1.5 -2 litres of fluid per day or roughly 11 cups of water per day for the average woman and 16 for men. Children need slightly less and should aim for around 6-8 cups a day. Its important to note that fluid needs can vary depending on various factors including level of physical activity and climate, so it is best to remember to drink regularly to keep thirst at bay. Of course, not all fluids have to come from water, even though this is the best source. Other drinks count towards our total fluid intake too; milk, fruit juice, tea, coffee, and soft drinks are all over 85% water and can be included in total fluid intake. Do choose carefully as choosing drinks with higher levels of added sugars can cause dental problems and is also associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,

Top 5 ways to drink more water

  • Drink a glass as soon as soon you wake up

  • Set reminders

  • Flavor your water

  • Eat more food high in water e.g. melon

  • Get a water filter

So, remember your body is made up of mostly water therefore good hydration is critical to health and keeps our bodies performing at their best, not only in terms of all the processes that go on but also keeping our levels of concentration up. The best advice is to keep a bottle of water close by to top up fluid levels regularly and keep thirst away.



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