There is never an excuse not to remain fully hydrated. It is the easiest health tip achievable, and it will reduce your likelihood of sickness as much as anything else you can do. As we come into the warmer months, hydration is even more important. Maintaining good hydration is critical to maintaining good health. As we age, it becomes even more important to pay attention to hydration.
Maintaining optimal hydration is important for many reasons, such as: when we get older the body ‘dries out’, and our tendons and ligaments become less flexible. Maintaining hydration allows you to keep all soft tissue supple. This allows us to retain flexibility and mobility as we age.
On the other hand, poor hydration can lead to a higher incidence of medical conditions, including constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nose bleeds, repeated urinary tract infections, dry coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue. These are often the result of toxins building up in our bodies. The body’s immune system becomes weak, leading to chemical, nutritional and pH imbalances. These can eventually cause sickness and premature aging.
Lack sufficient hydration is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. A simple 2% drop in body water can trigger short-term memory problems, and difficulty focusing when reading.
Being properly hydrated can also help us lose weight. In 37% of people, the thirst mechanism is so weak it’s mistaken for hunger, causing us to ingest calories we don’t need. A far better solution would be to satiate our hunger with a zero-calorie glass of water! In fact, if you drink one glass of water, it will shut down hunger pains for the next hour by almost 100%.
The important question is: how much water do I need? Evidence suggests that people should drink 1L of water per 30Kg of body weight ,daily. For example, a 60kg woman should consume 2L water per day. Please keep in mind that you may be drinking 2.5L of water every day, but your body has many ways of losing hydration just as quickly. Examples include: sweat, breath, urine and even faeces!
Here are a few simple steps you can take this summer to ensure you are properly hydrated:
- Are you thirsty? If so, chances are you need more liquid.
- What is the colour of your urine? The paler, the better.
- Are you suffering from headaches or fatigue? Try drinking some water!
- Do you have a dry mouth or dry skin? You may need water.
If you have any questions regarding hydration, or would like a nutritional assessment to ensure you are receiving the adequate amount of fluid daily, please don’t hesitate to ask your Optimum Dietitian or Exercise Physiologist for advice.