Yes, in this part of the world we have had plenty. But do we drink enough of it?
Let us look to see why this is an important question –
- Keeping well hydrated assists in losing weight.
- Headaches are often caused by dehydration
- Lethargy of both body and mind is a common symptom of dehydration, so for energy levels, keep up the water. We need water for the brain to function well.
- Dehydration can cause constipation.
- There is evidence that increasing your water intake reduces risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. Some say that strokes and angina are caused by dehydration.
- For health we need the outer skin of the body to be fairly dry and firm and the inner parts should be waterlogged. All the cells of the body live as though they are in an ocean of salt water.
One great way to increase our water intake is to keep water with us. Do you find it daunting to be told “you should drink at least 2 litres of water a day?” The amount each person needs depends on body weight, activity levels, how much one sweats, weather temperature, humidity. It also makes a difference how many cups of tea, herbal or otherwise, and water which comes from vegetables and fruits we eat and drink.
So how can we know the right amount for each of us? Thirst is not a good indicator; by the time we feel thirsty we could be really dehydrated. A good indication, though, is the colour of our urine. The aim is to drink enough water to keep your urine pale yellow in colour throughout the day. If you find your urine stays darkish colour and maybe has a strong smell, then this shows that you need to step up fluid intake. So, you might well find that 2 litres is needed to keep your body sufficiently hydrated.
One good tip to prevent us forgetting about water is to always have some by us. When it is sitting in front of us, or carried with us, then we remember more easily. So have a bottle on the desk, in the car, in your sports bag, out for a walk and, at the end of the day you will be surprised at the quantity you have used.
Remember that plastic bottles are not the best thing in the world, because of the leeching out of oestrogens from the plastic into the water. Instead, carry a glass bottle for your desk, in the car and if this is too heavy for carrying for a walk, then use plastic if you need to. I often refill my bottles with filtered water from the kitchen.
If you want to read more about this fascinating subject, a classic author is Dr F Batmanghelidj; look for “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” and “Water and Salt – Your Healers from Within” and “The Healing Powers of Ordinary Water”.