Hydration – are you drinking enough?

Water is our most important life source, and good quality fresh water is vital in adequate amounts on a daily basis. Not only does water nourish every cell in our body and encourage effective flushing of toxins via our kidneys, bowels and skin, it effects the firing of nerve signals, prevents inflammation,  reduces oedema, and of course increases our uptake of water soluble vitamins. Many people are dehydrated without knowing, and symptoms such as fatigue, hunger pangs, constipation, dry skin, ‘fuzzy’ head, irritability and water retention can all be signs that fluid intake (or should I say uptake) is insufficient.  We can sometimes drink lots but still be dehydrated due to lack of electrolyte intake (see Himalayan salt info below).

It can take up to 3 months to become fully hydrated again (!) and if you feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated.

So how can we best hydrate and energise our bodies?

  • Firstly the quality of water we are drinking is hugely important.  Be aware that tap water containing flouride and other chemicals can influence our thyroid function (the controller of our metabolism and our life force).  If you are able, get a good quality water filter, or use water from rain tanks, osmosis machines, or buy natural mineral water
  • Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water daily – this can include herbal teas with no sweeteners or milk added
  • If you struggle with motivating yourself to drink more water, a helpful way to monitor intake is to fill a 2 litre bottle and keep it on your desk/bench to drink from.  This will give you an accurate idea of how much you are drinking
  • For every coffee or caffeine containing beverage, you should drink an extra glass of water on top of the daily recommendation, due to their diuretic properties
  • Water and other drinks should be avoided as much as possible at meal times to avoid dilution of digestive acids.  This will help prevent bloating and indigestion
  • Warm water and lemon first thing in the morning is great for not only boosting fluid levels but flushing the liver, waking up the metabolism and encouraging digestive acid production to prepare for breakfast.
  • Himalayan (pink) or celtic sea salt (unbleached – grey in colour) will encourage uptake of water into the cells.  These salts also contain natural trace minerals which are essential for our body to function.  Aim to eat around 1/3-1/2 of a teaspoon daily by adding it to food or simply taking off the spoon in small amounts with a drink of water.  Electrolyte sachets or drinks work in the same way, but the salt is a healthier option
  • Try to use non-BPA containers to store water, due to xenoestrogens that will leech after time, causing hormone disruption