Drink more water - the why
We all know that drinking water is good for us. But for many of us, getting the recommended 2 litres a day is still a struggle.
I find that understanding the reasons why we should do things is a great motivator for making them happen.
After all, drinking more water is easy to build into your daily routine, whether it's committing to drink a glass first thing in the morning or setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink a glass of water every hour you're at work.
And being well hydrated makes a big difference to how you feel. Here's why.
Water is the largest component of the human body, with body water content ranging from 45-70%, depending on age, gender, muscle mass, climate and activity level.
Our bodies lose water through breathing, passing urine and bowel movements and through sweating. When you consider that these functions take place throughout each day, the importance of replacing lost fluids hits home.
Dehydration can range from mild - where noticeable symptoms may be darker urine, increased thirst, dry skin, constipation, and low energy, to severe - which can involve dizziness and confusion, a weak pulse or even seizures.
Dehydration saps energy, concentration and mood.
Being even mildly dehydrated can cause your brain to actually shrink in volume (the brain is typically 75% water). As well as causing a 'dry brain' headache, not drinking enough can also make you irritable, anxious and tired.
Thankfully, these symptoms can be reversed within 20 minutes of drinking water. See this Dr Mercola article for more on how your water intake affects your brain.
Being thirsty can actually be confused by your body for hunger, and dehydration can be a major contributor to sugar cravings. So if you're dehydrated you could be prone to eating more than you need. And remember sugar contributes to energy swings, making you feel even worse.
If you're craving sugary or salty foods, try drinking a glass of water before eating anything to see if this reduces the cravings.
We need to be well hydrated in order to eliminate the food we digest.
Dehyration is a common cause of constipation, which can make you feel sluggish, heavy and uncomfortable. It also puts an extra strain on your liver, as waste that isn't excreted is re-absorbed into the blood stream, where it needs to be circulated through the liver again.
Dehydrated body = dehydrated skin which looks dry, flaky, wrinkled or scaly. Insufficient fluid intake can also contribute to acne symptoms and skin breakouts.
Drinking enough water hydrates and helps to purify the skin - many of my clients have reported dramatic improvements to the appearance and feel of their skin when they start drinking more water.
See my post on quenching your thirst with flavour for ideas on how to jazz up water.