Water, water everywhere!
Updated: Feb 25
Happy New Year to our lovely clients!
January is the month where we make some (and break some!) resolutions but if there was ever one to keep for life, it would be to drink more water. It sounds simple but drinking two litres of water a day (three is you're a man) is a challenge; especially if you're a soft-drink or tea and coffee addict. It takes thirty days to make a habit, so start with buying a funky water bottle and leave it out on your desk where you won't forget about it.
Breathing, walking around, talking, crying and going to the toilet all lose us moisture. We expel 2.5 litres of water just by being alive so we need to put it back in. A good indicator of hydration is our mood. Feeling irritable or want a nap? Reach for that water bottle. Chances are, you will feel better after ten minutes and just needed to re-charge your cells.
The gut is one of the first organs in the body to tell us what state our health is in. For those of us who feel sluggish and have trouble with digestion, increasing our fluid wouldn't go amiss Constipation, bloating, headaches, lethargy and catching every cold going, are the key indicators of low fluid uptake. Remember when you get ill the amount of people who say: "drink lots to flush it out"? They're not wrong. Our lymphatic system contains all the body's immunity. So pushing that fluid around the body will get those antibodies where they need to be and the waste out through your kidneys. Before you reach for over-the-counter medicines, drink more to feel better.
We all know that 60% of the human body is water - from our heart, lungs and bones but the biggest sufferer of dehydration is our skin. As the largest organ, the skin is the first to show the signs of poor health when we're not getting enough fluid. It wrinkles, flakes and tightens and we can suffer from acne, psoriasis and eczema - not great for anything, especially our self-esteem! Water helps your skin maintain moisture, which increases its elasticity and reduces puffiness. The more elastic your skin, the more likely it will be to bounce back and sit smoothly against the body. And that goes for its plumpness too. Plump, pink and springy skin denotes youth and vitality and who doesn't want to look younger? If you're looking grey and wrinkly, you're dehydrated.
Our hair also loves a cold water rinse. If you can stand it, give your scalp a rinse through with the cold tap after washing. The cold temperature constricts the hair cuticles to make the strands smoother and more reflective, giving rise to shinier hair. It also prevents dirt from accumulating on the scalp and makes hair stronger. And while you're under the spray, your skin will benefit from the cold temperature too!
Was losing weight on your resolution list? Then giive your kidneys a break! When our fluids are low, our kidneys work twice as hard and the liver has to jump in and help. Our hormones and adrenal glands go into overdrive and we start retaining fluids - our stomachs look bloated and our ankles and fingers swell up. The liver is the key organ for burning fat into energy, so when that function is put aside, we store fat and put on weight. Time to grab your water bottle and get moving around!
The safety bit - always make sure your water bottle is properly washed out and don't leave it sitting around for too long. The open air and the sun can lead to the breeding of bacteria. If you're ever in doubt about the state of the water you're drinking, use water-purifying tablets or boil it first. And don't go mad! Drinking too much water can lead to a rare condition called Hyponatremia. Athletes, elderly people and patients suffering from heart disease and cirrhosis are at risk. Coffee, caffeinated soft-drinks, alcohol and tea should not be considered as water substitutes. Don't forget that coffee is diuretic, so excess of it can worsen the water balance in the body and make you look bloated as well as giving you a raging thirst and headache. When it comes to being well, water is a friend.