Water – The Importance of Hydration

Water is amazing and so are we..

Water and life are synonymous. Water is so much a part of life that we tend top ignore it and look elsewhere for a magic bullet. a secret herb or a type of nutrient which will increase our health and vigour and extend our lifespan.

  • Water is basic to our existence
  • Water is the solvent for our foods
  • Water is crucial to metabolism
  • Water affects our health more than any other nutrient
  • Water is the medium for the transport of all enzymes and chemicals to the digestive tract
  • Water transports digestive foods to the blood, liver and cells
  • Water is the substance that carries which carries all toxins and waste products from the body
  • Water is essential to each and every bodily function

Around 50-80% of our body weight is water. The higher our lean mass, the higher the water content. We need water for most body processes including digestion, absorbing and transporting nutrients, disposing of waste products and keeping our body temperature stable.

Since we are basically made of water it makes sense that we need to ensure that we are suitably hydrated.

We need to drink enough fluids to replace approximately 2000-3000 ml of water that we lose each day or we can become dehydrated - as little as 2% dehydration can reduce our physical and mental performance.

When we exercise we lose even more fluids and if we live in a hot climate we also need to top up our fluids to remain hydrated. Women who are pregnant should drink around 10% more than normal, and women who are lactating also need to top up throughout the day.

Although we talk about how much ‘water’ we need, all drinks, including milk, tea, coffee and flavoured drinks contribute to fluid intake. The theory that tea and coffee causes dehydration is no longer supported however too much caffeine can cause adrenal fatigue so common sense should be applied. Hydration with pure, clean, uncontaminated, and better still structured water is best and there are many ways to achieve this. Do your research on the various brands of filtration and purification systems available to ensure your water is the best you can get into your body.

Water has an advantage over soft drinks, cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks for two main reasons. Firstly, it has no kilojoules, and the extra kilojoules we drink can be the cause of unwanted weight gain. Secondly, it has a low acidity. Don't forget that soft drinks, fruit juice and artificially sweetened drinks increase excessive sugar consumption and are acidic so may erode teeth enamel.

Top up your fluids when you exercise and when the temperature rises and don’t wait until you are thirsty - once you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Keep sipping throughout the day to keep hydrated and functioning at your best.

If you think water is special you may like to read about some of the pioneers of scientific water study who agree with you...

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