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Unveiling the Truth: Is Dehydration a Key Factor in Accelerated Ageing

Unveiling the Truth: Is Dehydration a Key Factor in Accelerated Ageing

Water is the essence of life. From the single-celled organisms in the primordial soup to the complex human beings we are today, water has been a constant, vital component. It's no surprise, then, that hydration – the process of keeping the body adequately supplied with water – is crucial for our survival and well-being. But could there be more to this simple act of drinking water? Could staying hydrated be a secret weapon against one of humanity's greatest adversaries – ageing?


In this article, we delve into the intriguing possibility that dehydration might be a major contributor to accelerated ageing. We explore the journey of water in our bodies from the cradle to the grave, examining how our water content fluctuates over a lifetime and the implications this has on our ageing process. Moreover, we shed light on the often-overlooked role of electrolytes, the charged particles that accompany water in our cells and tissues, and their significance in maintaining youthfulness.

The quest to understand ageing is as old as humanity itself. While poets and philosophers have long pondered the inevitable march of time, scientists today are unravelling the mysteries of ageing at a cellular and molecular level. Among these inquiries, the role of hydration stands out as both fundamentally simple and intriguingly complex. Is the secret to slowing down the ageing clock hidden in our water bottles and electrolyte balance? Let's dive into the science and theories behind this fascinating question.

Understanding Hydration and ageing

The Interplay of Water and Time

Hydration, at its core, is about maintaining a balance. It's the process through which the body ensures that its water levels are sufficient for optimal functioning. This balance is not just about the water we drink; it's also about the water we lose through various processes like sweating, breathing, and excretion. In a healthy body, this equilibrium is meticulously maintained, but as we age, this balance can become harder to sustain.

Ageing, on the other hand, is a complex biological process characterised by a gradual decline in physiological functions. It's marked by changes at the cellular level, such as DNA damage, telomere shortening, and reduced cellular repair mechanisms. These changes affect the body's overall functionality, including its ability to maintain hydration.

The Hydration-ageing Hypothesis

The hypothesis linking hydration to ageing suggests that as we age, our bodies' ability to effectively manage water balance diminishes. This decline can lead to chronic, low-level dehydration, which may exacerbate the ageing process. The theory posits that sustained hydration could help mitigate some of the adverse effects of ageing, potentially slowing down its progression.

Water Content and ageing: A Dynamic Relationship

  • In Infancy and Childhood: Newborns have the highest percentage of body water, which is crucial for their rapid growth and development. This high water content contributes to their resilience and rapid recovery from injuries.
  • Adulthood: As we reach adulthood, the body's water content stabilises but starts to gradually decrease. This decrease is part of the natural ageing process and is linked to a reduction in muscle mass and an increase in fat tissue, which holds less water.
  • In the Elderly: In older adults, the body's water content is significantly lower compared to younger individuals. This reduction is compounded by factors like a diminished sense of thirst, kidney function decline, and potential chronic illnesses, making elderly individuals more susceptible to dehydration.

The Role of Cellular Hydration

At the cellular level, hydration is crucial for various functions, including nutrient transport, waste removal, and chemical reactions. Cells that are adequately hydrated can function optimally, while dehydration can lead to cellular stress and damage, potentially accelerating ageing-related changes.

The relationship between hydration and ageing is a complex interplay of biological processes. Understanding this relationship is key to unravelling the potential of hydration as a tool in our arsenal against ageing. As we explore further, we will delve into the specifics of how water content changes throughout life and the critical role of electrolytes in this dynamic.

Water Content in the Human Body: From Birth to Death

The Ebb and Flow of Life's Essential Element

The human body's relationship with water is a lifelong journey, marked by significant changes from birth to old age. Understanding these changes provides insight into how hydration might influence the ageing process.

Water Content at Birth: A High Baseline

  • Newborns: Infants are born with about 75% of their body weight as water. This high water content is crucial for their rapid growth and development. It facilitates the transport of nutrients and hormones, which are essential for organ development and function.
  • Childhood Development: As children grow, their water content gradually decreases but remains higher than in adults. This abundant water supply supports their high metabolic rate and the rapid cellular division needed for growth.

Adulthood: The Gradual Decline

  • Stable but Declining: In adulthood, the body's water content stabilises around 60% for men and 55% for women. This difference is primarily due to the higher proportion of fat tissue in women, which contains less water than muscle tissue.
  • Factors Influencing Water Balance: Various factors, such as diet, physical activity, and environmental conditions, can affect an adult's hydration status. Adults lose water through sweat, urine, and even breathing, necessitating regular replenishment.

The Elderly: A Vulnerable Stage

  • Reduced Water Content: In older adults, water content can drop to as low as 50%. This decrease is partly due to a loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and an increase in fat tissue.
  • Compounding Factors: ageing is associated with a reduced sense of thirst, which can lead to inadequate fluid intake. Additionally, kidney function declines with age, affecting the body's ability to conserve water and regulate electrolyte balance.

The Impact of Dehydration in ageing

  • Physical and Cognitive Effects: Dehydration in older adults can have serious consequences, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, and even cognitive impairment.
  • Ageing Skin: The skin, which is highly dependent on hydration, becomes drier, less elastic, and more prone to wrinkles as the body's water content decreases.

The Role of Hydration in Longevity

  • Hydration and Longevity: Adequate hydration may play a role in promoting longevity and healthy ageing. It supports essential bodily functions, helps maintain cognitive and physical performance, and can prevent age-related diseases.

The human body's water content undergoes significant changes from birth to death, reflecting the natural course of ageing. These changes underscore the importance of maintaining proper hydration throughout life, especially in older age, to support health and potentially slow the ageing process.

Dehydration: More Than Just a Lack of Water

The Subtle Yet Profound Impact on ageing

Dehydration is often perceived simply as the body not having enough water. However, its implications, especially in the context of ageing, are far-reaching and complex. Understanding the effects of dehydration, both short-term and long-term, is crucial in appreciating its potential role in accelerated ageing.

Short-Term Effects of Dehydration

  • Immediate Physical Responses: Short-term dehydration can lead to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, dry skin, and dizziness. These symptoms are the body's immediate response to inadequate water intake.
  • Cognitive Impact: Even mild dehydration can impair cognitive functions such as concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. This is particularly concerning for older adults, who may already be experiencing age-related cognitive decline.

Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Dehydration

  • Systemic Health Issues: Prolonged dehydration can lead to more serious health problems, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and constipation. These conditions are more prevalent and often more severe in the elderly.
  • Exacerbation of Chronic Illnesses: For individuals with chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease, dehydration can worsen symptoms and complicate disease management.

Dehydration and the ageing Process

  • Mimicking Ageing Symptoms: Chronic dehydration can mimic or exacerbate symptoms of ageing, such as reduced skin elasticity, joint pain, and decreased muscle mass.
  • Cellular and Molecular Impact: On a cellular level, dehydration can cause oxidative stress and inflammation, which are key contributors to the ageing process. Prolonged dehydration may accelerate the degradation of cellular functions, leading to premature ageing.

Studies Linking Dehydration to Accelerated Ageing

  • Research Evidence: Various studies have suggested a correlation between chronic dehydration and accelerated ageing. These studies highlight the impact of dehydration on cellular ageing, increased risk of age-related diseases, and overall longevity.

The Importance of Recognizing and Addressing Dehydration

  • Awareness and Prevention: Recognising the signs of dehydration is crucial, especially in older adults who may have a diminished sense of thirst. Regular monitoring of hydration status and encouraging adequate fluid intake are essential steps.
  • Hydration Strategies: Incorporating hydration-friendly practices, such as drinking water regularly, consuming water-rich foods, and avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol, can help maintain optimal hydration levels.

Dehydration is a multifaceted issue with significant implications for the ageing process. Its ability to mimic and potentially accelerate age-related changes highlights the importance of maintaining adequate hydration as a potential strategy for healthy ageing.

The Role of Electrolytes in Hydration and ageing

Balancing the Body's Microscopic Scales

Electrolytes, though often overshadowed by the emphasis on water, play a pivotal role in maintaining hydration and overall health, particularly as it pertains to ageing. These charged minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, are essential for numerous bodily functions.

Understanding Electrolytes and Their Functions

  • Electrolyte Basics: Electrolytes are minerals in the body that carry an electric charge. They are crucial for various bodily functions, including nerve signalling, muscle contraction, and pH balance.
  • Hydration and Electrolyte Balance: Electrolytes help regulate fluid balance by controlling the movement of water in and out of cells. This balance is essential for maintaining proper hydration levels.

Electrolyte Imbalances and Dehydration

  • Causes of Imbalances: Electrolyte imbalances can occur due to factors like excessive sweating, inadequate dietary intake, certain medications, and chronic health conditions.
  • Impact on Hydration: An imbalance in electrolytes can lead to dehydration, as the body struggles to properly manage fluid levels. Conversely, dehydration can also cause electrolyte imbalances, creating a cyclical problem.

Electrolytes and ageing

  • Age-Related Changes: As we age, our bodies become less efficient at maintaining electrolyte balance. This inefficiency can be exacerbated by factors like reduced kidney function, changes in diet, and the use of certain medications.
  • Consequences for the Elderly: Electrolyte imbalances in older adults can lead to serious health issues, including heart rhythm disturbances, bone density loss, and muscle weakness. These conditions can significantly impact the quality of life and overall health.

The Link Between Electrolytes, Hydration, and ageing

  • Supporting Cellular Functions: Adequate electrolyte levels support essential cellular functions, which can help mitigate some of the cellular aspects of ageing.
  • Preventing Age-Related Diseases: Maintaining electrolyte balance can help prevent or manage age-related diseases such as osteoporosis, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.

Strategies for Maintaining Electrolyte Balance

  • Dietary Considerations: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help maintain electrolyte levels. Foods like bananas, avocados, and leafy greens are excellent sources of key electrolytes.
  • Hydration and Electrolyte Supplements: In some cases, especially for athletes or those with specific health conditions, electrolyte supplements may be necessary to maintain balance.

Electrolytes play a crucial role in maintaining hydration and overall health, especially in the context of ageing. Understanding and managing electrolyte balance is key to promoting healthy ageing and preventing the complications associated with electrolyte imbalances. As we continue to explore the intricate relationship between hydration, electrolytes, and ageing, it becomes clear that a holistic approach to health and wellness is essential for longevity and quality of life.

Preventive Measures and Hydration Strategies

Proactive Steps for Healthy ageing

Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance is not just about quenching thirst; it's a proactive strategy for healthy ageing. Let’s outline the practical measures and lifestyle choices that can help individuals, especially as they age, to stay adequately hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance.

Daily Water Intake Recommendations

  • General Guidelines: While the "8 glasses a day" rule is a good starting point, water needs can vary based on factors like age, gender, climate, and physical activity levels. Generally, men should aim for about 3.7 litres (125 ounces) and women for about 2.7 litres (91 ounces) of water per day from all beverages and foods.
  • Adjustments for Older Adults: Older adults may need to consciously increase their water intake, as the sense of thirst diminishes with age. Caregivers and family members should encourage regular fluid intake.

Importance of a Balanced Diet

  • Electrolyte-Rich Foods: Incorporating foods high in key electrolytes into the diet can help maintain balance. Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, bananas, and dairy products are excellent sources.
  • Varied and Nutritious Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide not just electrolytes but also the necessary nutrients to support overall health.

Lifestyle Changes for Optimal Hydration

  • Regular Monitoring: Paying attention to signs of dehydration, such as dark urine, dry mouth, and fatigue, is important. Regularly monitoring these signs can help in maintaining proper hydration.
  • Limiting Diuretics: While beverages like coffee and tea contribute to fluid intake, excessive consumption can lead to increased urination and potential dehydration. Moderation is key.

Special Considerations for the Elderly

  • Easy Access to Fluids: Ensuring that older adults have easy access to water and encouraging them to drink regularly can help prevent dehydration.
  • Monitoring for Electrolyte Imbalances: Regular medical check-ups that include electrolyte level assessments are crucial for the elderly, especially those with chronic conditions or those taking medications that can affect hydration and electrolyte balance.

Hydration in Physical Activity and Hot Climates

  • Increased Fluid Intake: During physical activity or in hot climates, the body loses more water through sweat. Increasing fluid intake during these times is essential to prevent dehydration.
  • Electrolyte Replacement: For intense exercise or prolonged exposure to heat, beverages containing electrolytes can be beneficial to replace what is lost through sweat.

Maintaining hydration and electrolyte balance is a key component of healthy ageing. By following these recommendations and making conscious lifestyle choices, individuals can support their body's hydration needs throughout the ageing process. As we have seen, the journey of maintaining hydration is not just about drinking water; it's about embracing a lifestyle that supports overall health and well-being.

Conclusion: Dehydration and Accelerated ageing

Hydration and ageing: Embracing a Lifelong Journey of Wellness

The relationship between dehydration, electrolyte balance, and ageing highlights that hydration is more than just drinking water; it's a key factor in the ageing process. Hydration is crucial for maintaining health and quality of life as we age, supporting functions like cognition and physical strength. The balance of electrolytes becomes increasingly important with age to counteract age-related changes. 

Current research sheds light on the hydration-ageing link, but ongoing studies are vital for deeper understanding and developing targeted strategies for healthy ageing. Future research could lead to personalised hydration plans based on individual health and lifestyle.

A proactive approach to hydration and electrolyte balance is essential for health and potentially slowing ageing. It should be part of a holistic health strategy, including a balanced diet and regular exercise. Understanding and optimising hydration is not just scientific; it's a commitment to a lifestyle that cares for our body throughout life. Making informed choices about hydration can help us age more healthily and vibrantly.

Elevate Your Hydration with Water for Health

Unlock the key to healthier ageing with Water for Health's premium hydration solutions. From advanced water filters to essential electrolyte supplements, we provide everything you need for optimal hydration. Stay hydrated, stay healthy!

Further Reading

For those interested in delving deeper into the topic of hydration, ageing, and their interconnection, the following resources provide valuable insights and findings from recent research:

  1. Link between Hydration and ageing - National Institutes of Health (NIH): This article discusses a study suggesting that proper hydration may help reduce the risk of serious chronic diseases and slow down the ageing process. The research, conducted by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, examines the associations between ageing and hydration in a long-term study involving more than 15,000 people. Read more.
  2. Water, Hydration and Health - PMC: This comprehensive review provides an overview of our current understanding of water, including patterns of intake, mechanisms behind water homeostasis, and the effects of water intake on health, energy intake, weight, and human performance. It highlights the critical role of water in preventing nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases. Read more.
  3. Good Hydration Linked to Healthy ageing - NHLBI, NIH: This news release from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH discusses findings that adults who stay well-hydrated appear to be healthier, develop fewer chronic conditions, and live longer than those who may not get sufficient fluids. The study analysed health data from 11,255 adults over a 30-year period. Read more.
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Glass of water with orange

Stay Properly Hydrated to Make You Feel 10 Years Younger

Stay Properly Hydrated to Make You Feel 10 Years Younger

It’s quite obvious that dehydration is one factor that leads to ageing.

Especially if we look at wrinkled skin.

It’s clear that the skin is lacking nourishment, and hydration.

There are many reasons for this,

not least the lifestyle and habits that we have in the West.

Staying in a warm home, or office can dry your skin out,

…plus the majority of us don’t drink nearly enough water each day.

The food we eat is often dry, like bread, pasta, wraps, crisps etc…

Which doesn’t help us to stay hydrated and feeling energised.

What makes matters worse is that older people don’t feel thirst the same way that younger people do.

But what if I told you there was a better way to drink water?

In this article I’ll go into a range of ways that you can ensure that you stay properly hydrated. So that you feel ten years younger.

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computer use and dehydration

The Curious Link Between Computer Use and Dehydration

The Curious Link Between Computer Use and Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. If we don’t replace those lost fluids our bodies struggle to perform their necessary functions.

Usual symptoms include increased thirst, concentrated urine, tiredness, and dry eyes and skin. Rehydrating reverses most of these symptoms, but it's better not to neglect water in the first place.

The eyes are a delicate and beautiful gift from nature and it’s our responsibility to preserve them, especially from the harmful radiation of digital devices. Dehydration poses visible eye complications for eyes which must be healthy for comfortable on-screen occupations.

Now let's take a closer look at the potential aspects linking dehydration and computer use.

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water pouring in to glass

The Importance of Good Hydration for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

The Importance of Good Hydration for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Water makes up 50-60% of our body, and just like its omnipresence in nature, water has become an indispensable aspect of living.

Yet it can be taxing to keep track of your water intake during timeless work hours. 

Although water requirements vary for everyone depending on many factors, the goal is not to deprive the body of it.

Drinking more water has excellent benefits for all of the body's microscopic cells and we can even help prevent or manage chronic diseases by making proper hydration a daily habit.

Read more
blonde woman drinks glass of water

Minerals for Dehydration: The Vital Role of Mineral Electrolytes

Minerals for Dehydration: The Vital Role of Mineral Electrolytes

If you often feel thirsty but don’t particularly like to drink water, forget to rehydrate, or tend to be quite a thirstless person, then you could be suffering from dehydration.

Other people at risk include older adults, athletes and people at higher altitudes. Why should this be of any concern to you?

Because even mild dehydration can cause your brain to feel addled as your cognitive ability begins to decline.

For example, feeling dehydrated by as little as 2% can cause you to make errors while driving as your anticipatory perception, judgement and reflexes become sluggish.

Low-level dehydration can also cause headaches, tiredness, dizziness, weakness and thirst.

We cannot survive past three days without water, and we all need ample hydration to keep our bodies running optimally.

Without proper hydration, you can quickly deteriorate as your body needs water to do every single job from cellular and organ function to digestion, maintaining healthy skin and joint and eye lubrication.

Electrolytes – essential minerals with an important job


Dehydration can cause electrolyte depletion and imbalance.

Electrolytes are essential minerals that we get from food and drink. They live in your body fluids and have a slight electrical charge that powers your cells.

These minerals (sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium) play a vital role in:

  • Body fluid balance and hydration
  • Body pH balance (or acid/alkaline balance) – crucial for optimum health, energy and immunity
  • Maintaining heart health
  • Nerve and muscle function
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Gut health
  • Moving nutrients into, and toxins out of, your cells

If you are regularly dehydrated, you could be lacking in these vital minerals, and it may be affecting your health. It’s so important to stay hydrated if you want to keep your mineral levels balanced.

Electrolytes help you to hydrate more effectively


As mentioned above, electrolytes aid fluid balance and hydration.

Replenishing electrolytes can help you to retain water more effectively, encouraging ideal hydration levels. Your body will run much more smoothly, enabling optimal performance

A diet high in vegetables and fruits should help to supply you with enough of these valuable minerals. If you are an athlete or regularly do intense workouts, you may need to bolster your electrolytes while exercising by staying hydrated.

Aside from water, drinking fluids rich in electrolytes that increase hydration value and keep mineral levels balanced can be beneficial.

Steer clear of sugar-laden sports drinks and try natural coconut water or tart cherry juice instead.

What causes dehydration?


Dehydration occurs when your body is losing more fluids than are being replaced. Our bodies are roughly two-thirds water and basic bodily functions including breathing, sweating and going to the toilet all lead to water loss.

If you don’t keep your fluid levels up, it can severely impact both your physical and mental health. 

By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, and it’s a loud signal to drink some fluids. In the short-term, your body can shift water stores to areas where it is most needed, but this is a very temporary solution.

You’ll also find that you urinate less when you are dehydrated as your body tries to hold on to vital fluids. 

Of course, dehydration leads to a loss of valuable electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium, which impairs body functions and compounds any symptoms.

Dehydration symptoms

These go from mild to severe, with serious symptoms needing emergency medical attention.

Mild symptoms include:

  • Reduced urine
  • Dark coloured urine (when you are properly hydrated, your urine is a pale yellow – too much hydration makes it clear)
  • Thirst (however some people, including the elderly, don’t always express thirst)
  • Tiredness

More moderate symptoms include all of the above, plus:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

If left untreated, more severe symptoms develop, including:

  • Unusual lethargy and confusion
  • Severe dizziness
  • A weak or rapid pulse
  • Not passing urine for eight hours
  • Seizures
  • Low-level consciousness
  • Fever
  • Sunken eyes
  • Delirium
  • Low blood pressure

If a baby is dehydrated, they could:

  • Be drowsy
  • Have fewer wet nappies
  • Have less to no tears when they cry
  • Have a sunken soft spot on their head
  • Have sunken cheeks or eyes
  • Be irritable
  • Have a dry tongue and mouth

Dehydration causes and solutions


Those most at risk from dehydration are athletes, older adults or the elderly, people with chronic health conditions including diabetes, babies and infants.

Causes include:

  • Life circumstances such as not having access to water or being busy and distracted.
  • Drinking alcohol causes thirst and dehydration as it is a diuretic which increases the passing of urine. 
  • Illness such as gastroenteritis, causing persistent vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Sweating from working out, heavy manual work, hot weather or fever.
  • Diabetes causes increased urination and fluid loss.
  • Frequent urination caused by undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, and medication such as for blood pressure and alcohol consumption.

How to treat dehydration

More severe symptoms need urgent medical attention, but if you have mild to moderate symptoms, you need to hydrate – pronto.

It’s essential to do it the right way for optimum hydration and also not to over-hydrate, as this can also cause problems. Here are some helpful tips.

It’s a good idea to replenish your electrolytes which will be depleted. This will also enable you to hydrate more effectively and improve your symptoms.

Here are some excellent electrolyte sources.

Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance 


Electrolyte balance can be affected by several factors, including the amount of water in your body. Chronic symptoms can manifest when there has been an imbalance for a prolonged period, and the issue has become more severe with your body no longer able to handle the irregularities.

Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance are listed below, some of them mirror those of dehydration:

  • Headache
  • Extreme thirst
  • Numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness, twitching, cramps or spasms
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat

How to effectively maintain balanced electrolyte levels

 

As previously mentioned, eating a diet rich in brightly coloured vegetables and fruit should provide you with enough electrolytes. Aim for 7-10 portions per day, every day.

If you want to focus on some super effective electrolyte sources, this article will help. 

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the power of electrolytes. These astonishing essential minerals do so much for you, from balancing your fluid levels and blood pressure to maintaining gut and heart health and improving nerve and muscle function. 

Electrolytes include sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium. Other factors can lead to their imbalance, but dehydration will cause a depletion in these vital minerals. If you regularly suffer from or are at increased risk of dehydration, you could find that you have consistently low-level electrolyte depletion.

In this case, it would be hugely beneficial to focus on drinking enough water daily and replenishing all those lovely minerals via rich electrolyte sources such as vegetables and fruit. You can also drink coconut water and tart cherry juice.

When it comes to drinking the right amount for adequate hydration, you may find this blog helpful. Aside from discussing how much the average person should be drinking (it varies from person to person, but aiming for at least two litres per day is a good start), it’s full of tips on how to hydrate most effectively and how to ensure you don’t forget to drink enough water! It also has suggestions if you’re not a fan of water.

Recommended and relevant supplements include Revitacell Fulvic Restore and Progurt Chloride.

This article is written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

 

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man passing water bottle to another

The 6 Best Times to Drink Water and When Not To

The 6 Best Times to Drink Water and When Not To

The healing properties of pure water are immense. Water is required for every system in the body to run efficiently, and as such is a top priority for health and wellness.

You’re probably aware that you should drink about eight glasses of water per day, or 2-3 litres.

But did you know that there are key times to consume water?

In this article we’ll discuss the best times to drink water during the day to optimise your health.

How Often Should I Drink Water?


You should aim to drink eight glasses of water a day. However, this intake might increase if you are in a hot climate, sweating a lot, ill or exercising.

The amount of water and frequency of intake also varies depending on your age and gender. As a rough guide, a woman should drink 2.2 litres/ 8-9 cups while a man should drink 3 litres/ 13 cups.

There’s no one size fits all, though. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers will need to drink up to 3 litres per day. Humid weather can also increase the amount of water that you should drink.

Some people who are prone to dehydration  (like the elderly) will need to be more strict to ensure that they are drinking enough water. Drinking water at optimal times of the day can help to promote adequate water consumption.

Learn more: Dehydration and Dementia: 6 Ways to Get Elders to Drink More Water

Create a Drinking Water Schedule


If you (or a loved one) are having trouble drinking enough water, then try writing out a schedule for drinking water.

This could look like 1 glass of water in the morning, 1 before breakfast, 1 before lunch, and 1 before dinner. That will cover half of your daily quota. You can either double the quota or add in a bottle of water before and during exercise.

Best practice is to have a bottle of fresh pure drinking water with you at all times and sip it throughout the day. Which should make up your daily water intake, especially if you follow the schedule above.

Related: Is Water Nature’s Very Own Antidepressant?

1.   500ml First Thing


Before you get out of bed, it’s a great idea to drink a 500ml glass of water. If you need to get up and go to the bathroom first, that’s ok.

The idea is that you flush your body with pure water as soon as you wake up.

Drinking a large glass of water when you wake up is a signal for all of your organs in the body to fire up, and be ready for the day ahead.

One Youtube video looked at what type of water will get your cells flowing smoothly. They compared tap water, coffee and alkaline water then looked at how the cells of the blood reacted under a microscope.

Interestingly, they found that the most beneficial water to drink was alkaline water.

Another idea is to add grated ginger or a slice of lemon into your water to nourish your body. Why not keep a glass of water on your bedside table? And drink it as soon as you wake up, as part of a healthy morning routine.

2. Drink When You Feel Hungry


Dehydration can send mixed signals to the brain, making us feel like we’re hungry.

In actual fact, we are in need of water. Interestingly, science has exposed that our feelings of thirst, hunger and satiety are most likely developed in childhood. Which in turn can alter cognition and behaviour accordingly.

Hunger, energy intake and thirst are probably more intricately linked than we had previously thought. Until recently 75% of our fluid intake would occur at meal times. Which means that the signals for hunger or thirst can easily be confused, as we do both activities at the same time.

3. Drink When You Feel Tired

Have you ever noticed that dip in energy at 4pm?  This energy slump could be due to dehydration.

One of the key reasons for feeling tired is, in fact,  dehydration. So every time you feel tired during the day, reach for a glass of water and see if that makes you feel more awake.

4. Before Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


You’ve probably heard that drinking water will fill you up. Often when we think that we’re hungry, it’s actually our bodies’ many cries for water that we are hearing.

By drinking a glass of water before a meal, you’ll avoid overeating. Water also flushes out the stomach lining and the intestines so that it is ready to digest the new meal.

5. Before, During and After Exercise


In the warm weather you’ll probably need more than one 500ml glass of water before exercise. Ensuring that you’re properly hydrated before and during exercise is critical to a good workout.

Both extremes of heat require that you drink extra water to keep the fluids in your body moving. Drinking extra water before exercise in hot weather can also help prevent heat stroke.

Replenishing the water you used up while exercising is essential. However, you should already have done a good job prepping your system and sipping water during your workout. After you’ve completed your workout, sip gently out of your water bottle to prevent stomach cramps.

6. Bacteria, Flu and Germs


If you’ve been around people who are sick, or are ill yourself, drink lots of water. By drinking water you’ll be hydrating your organs while flushing out the bad guys.

Diseases with the symptoms of diarrhoea and sickness can quickly lead to dehydration and complications. Therefore, if you’ve been exposed to germs then drink lots of water to flush your system out.

When Not to Drink Water

 

It’s a good idea to stop drinking water an hour or two before bed. Especially if you have a weak bladder.

Drinking too much water before a test or important meeting can also be a bad idea. Instead, sip water before and rehydrate fully afterwards.

The Bottom Line

No matter when you are drinking water, it’s important to drink pure clean water. Contaminants in the water can be bad for your health.

You can install a water purifier directly under your tap or in your shower to ensure that you and your family are consuming the purest water possible.

Starting your day off with one or even two glasses of water is an easy healthy habit to get into.

Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

 

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Why Drink Water, What’s Wrong With Other Drinks?

Why Drink Water, What’s Wrong With Other Drinks?

Why Drink Water, What’s Wrong With Other Drinks?

Drinking high-quality water is the best fluid to drink, period. In fact, many of the other fluids that we drink harm the body. This article is designed to give you all the information you need, so that you can make an informed choice as to the best fluid to consume to optimise your health and wellness.

The vast majority of people are unwittingly poisoning themselves by drinking the wrong types of fluid.

I've heard it said many times that drinking fizzy drinks or tea and coffee is just as good as water when it comes to hydrating yourself. But that’s a myth. There are aisles filled with drinks in the supermarkets, but none of the options therein compare with pure natural water. All other drinks contain chemicals and plastics that negatively impact health.

By laying out the facts in this article, I hope that you'll feel inspired to drink high-quality water in place of other drinks. Let's start with the most commonly consumed beverages.

Coffee


Most people consume coffee on a daily basis and feel like they couldn’t live without it. But did you know that caffeine is a nerve poison?

Caffeine is stored in the leaves of the tea plant and coffee beans, and is designed to ward off pests thanks to the presence of the enzyme phosphodiesterase.

Ingesting this enzyme is the kiss of death for animals in the wild as it alters memory, judgement and impairs natural survival instincts.

The average cup of coffee contains 94.8 mg of caffeine. Used as a pick-me-up, caffeine-rich coffee disrupts homeostasis in the body, using up stored energy that is meant for emergency situations.

Drawing from these emergency reserves daily can deplete life energy and lead to disease.

Tea


Britain is one of the greatest tea consumers in the world: an average Brit will consume 1.9kg tea per year.

The colour in tea comes from tannic acid, a compound used to harden leather. The main active agent in tea is caffeine, which causes dehydration.

Rather than hydrating you, excessive tea consumption can cause dehydration.

Learn More: Unusual Symptoms of Dehydration & How Best to Tackle Them

Alcohol

Most people know that drinking alcohol won’t provide hydration. In fact, alcohol is a diuretic, and as such, it pulls water out of your cells.

The stress that alcohol places on the body encourages the release of endorphins, which have an opiate-like effect on the body. The same endorphins that keep a runner hooked to attaining the runners’ high are created when we drink alcohol.

There are many reasons that should deter you from consuming excessive amounts of alcohol such as liver damage and suppressing the immune system. Additionally, drinking alcohol can lead to anxiety and a depressed mood.

Alcohol also disrupts the emergency water supply in the brain, which can lead to hangover headaches.

Related: The Health Benefits of Having a Dry Month

Bottled Water


Bottled water is contaminated with hundreds of tiny plastic particles. Researchers have found an average of 325 microplastic particles per litre of bottled water.

These microplastics are small enough to pass through endothelial cells and other protective tissues in the body.

This means that microplastics can find their way into the bloodstream and even into major organs.

Worryingly, these tiny particles can also make their way through the placental barrier.

What we know is that microplastics can accumulate in our bodies. Frederick vom Saal, professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, stated:

 “In animal models and in epidemiological studies in humans, we have a correlation between plastic exposures and known health hazards.”

Plastic pollutants are implicated in many cognitive issues and as such are thought to have negative biological effects. This is true for our bodies and the environment as a whole.

One 2017 study exposed the harsh truth: that a massive 79% of all plastic that has ever been produced is now in nature or a landfill. With up to 12 million tonnes of plastic being poured into the sea in 2010 alone.

Learn More: Water Filters for Plastics: Necessary or Not?

Soda and Fizzy Drinks

The refined sugar and artificial colouring used in fizzy juice, meanwhile, is notoriously harmful to health. Even if you opt for a diet drink, you’ll be consuming aspartame, which is deleterious.

It isn’t just the caffeine, flavouring, colouring, sugar or aspartame in fizzy drinks that can affect your health, though.

Researchers from  Birzeit University in the Palestinian West Bank found that it’s the actual “fizz” in fizzy drinks that produces ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

Meaning that fizzy drinks will stimulate your appetite and promote fat storage.

Sugary drinks can cause tooth decay and so should be avoided. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) commonly known as the “sugar tax” came into force in the UK in an attempt to detract people from buying sugary drinks.

However, as I have outlined, it isn’t just the sugar that is the problem. Fizzy juice is also often filled with caffeine and guarana – and these stimulants are addictive.

Fizzy drinks are made of unfiltered tap water, so you’ll be ingesting whatever nasties that make their way into the water supply.

Energy Drinks

 

Energy drinks stimulate the central nervous system with caffeine and other compounds like sugar, taurine or aspartame.

This toxic blend has been found to be fatal, with over 34 deaths directly attributed to energy drinks.

Swedish authorities have warned that energy drinks shouldn’t be consumed after exercise or with alcohol.

Additionally, the extra spike in energy felt when a person consumes an energy drink will result in a crash in energy as the drink wears off.

Norway, Denmark and France have banned energy drinks from all stores, except pharmacies due to the high caffeine content.

One study found that just two cans of energy juice can cause arteries to dilate.

The Bottom Line

Drinking pure high-quality water will release endorphins and stimulate the nervous system. Most other drinks cause dehydration, which can lead to disease over the long term.

Despite corporate soft drink giants making US $31,483 million per year (in the UK alone), there is no substitute for water when it comes to hydration.

Related: What’s the Healthiest Water You Can Drink?

Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.

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Is Water Nature’s Very Own Antidepressant?

Is Water Nature’s Very Own Antidepressant?

Feeling down is something that we all have to deal with at times. This is especially true in winter, where sunlight is in short supply and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can creep in.

The modern lifestyle often doesn't help us when it comes to keeping happy. There are many things that can cause low mood, one of which is dehydration or not enough water. How, you might ask?

In this article, we'll cover the many scientific reasons why a lack of water could be the root of mood and cognition issues. But before we dive into how water keeps us happy, let's discuss the science bit…

The Gut-Brain Axis


Mood and cognition are intricately linked to our overall health and wellness. Serotonin is often considered the “happy hormone” and is produced by the synthesis of the ?-amino acid tryptophan.

A depressed mood has been found to be linked to low brain serotonin levels and hence serotonin production must be optimised to enhance health and a positive outlook on life.

The gut and the brain work together, with the help of the microbes in our gut. These microbes work with the brain to produce hormones like serotonin.

Interestingly, the microbes in our gut can morph to survive dehydration. In the short term this is useful, but in the long term can produce deleterious effects.

Water is required to keep all aspects of our gut and brain health mobile and flowing. Without water, the microbes wouldn’t be able to carry out their critical functions.

Related: 3 Key Factors You Must Consider When Trying to Improve Gut Health

Is Serotonin Produced in the Gut?


As mentioned, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is a well-known neurotransmitter that is primarily synthesised in the gut. Researchers have found that a healthy and diverse gut microbiome can increase the amount of serotonin in the body by as much as 30%. It’s estimated that as much as 90% of the serotonin in the body is produced in the gut.

We know that serotonin is important and its precursor tryptophan is essential. But where does water fit into the equation?

Water is the transmitter that is required for all systems in the body to function effectively. Not least the hormones that are required to boost mood.

The Best Water to Boost Mood

One of the keys to boosting mood is making sure the body can effectively rid itself of toxic acidic waste materials. This is done via the kidneys and urine.

Without excreting the acidic waste, the body can get overloaded with toxins. As such, the best water to drink to boost health and mood is clean, pure alkaline water.

Related: What’s the Healthiest Water You Can Drink

Dehydration & Acid Buildup


The body’s pH must be kept at 7.35-7.45 to allow it to function. Excess acidic waste buildup can lead to your brain and vital organs being compromised.

Dehydration means that the body cannot produce enough urine to get rid of its toxic waste. This can throw the whole body – enzymes, microbes, oxygen, blood and minerals out of whack.

To balance and neutralise excess acidic waste, the body will sacrifice essential amino acids. Four amino acids that are used to balance the body’s pH are tryptophan, tyrosine, cysteine and methionine.

When using tryptophan to neutralise excess acid, it’s not available to be used as a mood enhancer. To rectify this situation, we must adequately hydrate the body (ideally with pure alkaline water), so that excess toxic acidic waste can be expelled.

Avoid Diuretics


Diuretics increase the amount of water expelled from the body, however, this is not the correct approach to increasing the amount of urine produced by the body. Mainly because diuretics can cause dehydration.

Alcohol, fizzy drinks and caffeine are all mild diuretics and as such should be avoided by people who are looking to boost brain health.

Prescription, pill-based diuretics often used by athletes are even more dangerous and can lead to serious dehydration.

Circulation & Mood


Water boosts the circulation of all systems in the body. The stagnation of the body, whether due to dehydration or a lack of exercise, will inhibit the body’s ability to transport essential amino acids.

The amino acid tryptophan shares its neurotransmitter network with other amino acids such as valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine and tyrosine.

A lifestyle where dehydration and lack of exercise become the norm, for example in an alcoholic, will mean that levels of leucine, isoleucine and valine increase. This depletes the ability of tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In turn, this reduces the amount of serotonin in the body, which can lead to the development of diseases related to mood and cognition.

Eat Tryptophan-Rich Foods


Alongside exercising and increasing pure water intake, a diet rich in tryptophan should be consumed to increase serotonin levels in the body.

tryptophan intake of 4mg per kg of body weight is suggested. However, for those who are suffering from memory issues or a depressed mood, higher levels of tryptophan-rich foods can be consumed.

Tryptophan rich foods include: tofu, spirulina, seeds (sunflower and pumpkin), nuts (peanuts and almonds), oats, beans, chickpeas, and buckwheat.

Water Isn't Always Enough

To ensure that the body can function effectively, resulting in the proper synthesis of serotonin, adequate hydration is essential. However, drinking water alone often isn’t enough.

The mineral salts sodium, magnesium and potassium are often referred to as “electrolytes”. These minerals are required for the body to absorb water.

Dehydration can occur if the body is low in these essential mineral salts. Magnesium, in particular, is required for the kidneys to utilise sodium and potassium effectively.

Learn More: The 5 Best Plant Sources of Electrolytes

The Bottom Line

While tryptophan and other amino acids are critical for boosting mood, they are not activated without water. Water is the conduit through which all nutrients are delivered.

Additionally, water absorption requires electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, and sodium). Alkaline water can also be consumed to tip the pH balance of the body and detoxify excess acids.

Written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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glass of water

Feeling Thirsty? Don’t Make These Common Hydration Mistakes

Feeling Thirsty? Don't Make These Common Hydration Mistakes

Without water, we can't survive, and we can only live roughly three days without it.

Water literally keeps us alive. We need it for our cells to function, organs to work, brain health, pH balance, elimination of toxins, lubrication of joints and spinal cord, oxygen transportation, digestion and the moistening of mucous membranes.

Even mild dehydration can lead to impaired cognitive function causing things like driver errors. As little as two hours or 2% dehydration can weaken brain function, affecting attention and executive functions like planning, reasoning and problem-solving. It can also negatively impact motor coordination and reaction times.

Signs that you are dehydrated include thirst, headache, bad breath, lethargy, dark coloured urine, muscle fatigue, and dizziness. More chronic symptoms can be dry skin, constipation, frequent headaches, constant tiredness and continued muscle weakness.

If your urine has a pale yellow colour, then you should be adequately hydrated. You can also try the pinch skin test if you're worried your hydration levels are low.

Here are some common mistakes that can lead to dehydration.

Avoiding Salt


The evidence against salt and how it affects our overall health and wellbeing is far from conclusive. Sodium is an essential electrolyte, which is vital for proper hydration. So if you are avoiding salt like the plague, it could be contributing to dehydration. 

If you are regularly consuming poor quality salt, then this could cause you to feel dehydrated. Ordinary table salt falls into this category. It has most of the good stuff removed and contains anti-caking agents to stop it from clustering together.

Sadly, this is the most common salt you find. It’s added to processed foods, on most restaurant tables, and in many households too.

However, unrefined, natural salts such as Himalayan salt, or sea salt, have a far superior mineral profile, and no additives, making them a healthier choice. If you eat these in moderation and avoid regular table salt, the sodium it provides will help to keep you hydrated. 

So, if you’re avoiding salt because you’re worried about high blood pressure, think about the fact that proper hydration is crucial for heart health. Dehydration thickens your blood and narrows blood vessels, making you more prone to blood clots.

Adequate hydration makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body, and it doesn’t have to work as hard. Adding moderate amounts of good quality salt to your daily diet actually benefits your heart health as well as your hydration levels. Of course, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your blood pressure.

To find out more about the myths around salt and how it can benefit your health and longevity, read ‘The Salt Fix’ by Dr. James DiNicolantonio. Or read our Salt Fix summary.

Not Drinking Water First Thing in the Morning

It’s not uncommon to wake and feel mildly dehydrated. Drinking a large glass of water first thing is an excellent first step to proper hydration, and the perfect way to start your day.

If you don’t do this, especially if your first drink is a coffee, you could be on the back foot for the rest of the day, never quite replenishing your hydration levels. 

TOP TIP – Keep a pint glass of water by the bed. As soon as you wake up, drink the whole lot. Then you can enjoy your morning cup of coffee and stay hydrated.

Waiting Till You Feel Thirsty, then Gulping Water

So you’ve woken up and drunk a large glass of water. Brilliant, that’s an excellent start to your day. But does that mean that you don’t have to drink any more water until you feel thirsty again? Not necessarily.

It’s much more beneficial to drink consistently throughout the day. 

Too many of us wait until we feel thirsty to drink some water, but the reality is that this isn’t always a good first indicator that you’re dehydrated. Many of us, particularly as we age, can have a less acute sense of thirst and your body may have needed water for some time.

Also, if you do tend to wait until you feel thirsty and then drink large volumes of water, your body won’t be able to effectively absorb it all and will flush most of it out.

Regularly drinking smaller amounts, without using thirst as an indicator, is a much more efficient way to stay hydrated.

Drinking 2 Litres of Water a Day


While this is a good benchmark, it may not be enough. Each one of us has different hydration requirements. Your activity levels, if you’re pregnant, your size, how much you sweat, or how much alcohol and caffeine you consume can all affect your hydration requirements. 

TOP TIP – Not a fan of water? Flavour it up with herbs like mint and basil, fruit, or vegetables like cucumber.

You Have a High-Sugar Diet


While it’s common knowledge that too much sugar is bad, it’s tough for many of us to kick the habit, and so we are still consuming way too much.

A Western diet high in simple carbohydrate and sugary foods can lead to sugar collecting in your blood. So, if your blood sugar is consistently high, you will find that you start to urinate more frequently as your body tries to excrete any excess.

Of course, this leads to dehydration and you will begin to feel more thirsty. This is the reason why excessive thirst and urination is a common sign of diabetes. 

You Don't Eat Enough Fruit & Veg


Aside from being an excellent source of beneficial nutrients, these are also hydrating, particularly watery ones like cucumber, celery, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, lettuce, oranges, courgettes, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli and peaches.

Fruits and vegetables are also a great source of electrolytes. When you become dehydrated, it depletes these essential minerals that are crucial for your health, wellbeing and performance.

They power your cells and help to maintain fluid balance and hydration, healthy pH levels, nerve and muscle function, and a healthy gut.

Too many of us in the Western world don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, so you need to make a concerted effort to have them with every meal.

Add some berries to your morning porridge, and make sure your plate is at least half full of vegetables for lunch and dinner. Ensure you eat lots of different colours too.

TOP TIP – Read this article for a list of fantastic electrolyte plant foods.

You Only Ever Drink Tea, Coffee, Sodas, Energy Drinks or Juice

It’s not uncommon for people to avoid water as they don’t enjoy drinking it, and instead reach for caffeinated or sugar-laden beverages when thirsty. 

While coffee and tea in moderation don’t necessarily contribute to dehydration, drinking it several times a day can, especially if you’re not drinking much water or other hydrating drinks.

While they do contain some water, fruit juices, squash and sodas also come with added sugar, which can increase blood sugar levels, encouraging dehydration.

TOP TIP – Ditch your sugar-laden sodas and juices and infuse your drinking water with delicious fresh fruits instead. Think strawberries and other berries, cherries, watermelon, or pineapple. If you love your tea and coffee but are not keen on water, try drinking herbal and teas instead and stock up on plenty of fruit and vegetables.

The Bottom Line

It’s incredibly important to stay properly hydrated as it only takes 2% dehydration for your cognitive function and reaction times to start suffering. Water is vital for your health and the prevention of chronic disease, as your body can’t operate properly without enough of it.

The most effective way to hydrate is to consistently drink water and other hydrating beverages like herbal tea throughout the day. Don’t wait until you are thirsty. 

Our hydration needs vary from person to person, and you may need more than eight 8oz glasses of water a day depending on your size, activity levels, and if you are pregnant.

If you think that you may be suffering from chronic dehydration and rarely eat salt, you could be low in sodium. Try regularly adding moderate amounts of unrefined salts like pink Himalayan or sea salt to your daily diet. 

And if you’re not keen on water, you can always flavour it up with some delicious herb, fruit or vegetable combinations.

Lastly, if you would like the water you are drinking to provide enhanced hydration, consider investing in one of our water filters. They produce cleaner, safer, alkalised drinking water full of antioxidants and good structure.

Written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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young woman's face, clear complexion

Dehydrated Skin? Read Our Guide to Getting a Healthy Glow

Dehydrated Skin? Read Our Guide to Getting a Healthy Glow

Skin is made up of several layers – three, to be exact. The outer layer (the epidermis) is our protective, waterproof barrier. The dermis is just underneath the outer layer and contains connective tissue.

The third deeper, fatty layer is called the hypodermis. Babies and children have a lot of circulation in the outermost areas of the skin due, in part, to the water content of their bodies. We are born with a bodily water content of around 75%, which drops to 55-60% as adults.

There are many reasons that the water content of our bodies diminishes with age, resulting in less plump skin. Babies have rosy cheeks because their skin has plenty of blood circulating to the epidermis. Ensuring proper circulation with water and other activities is critical for healthy glowing skin.

In this article, we’ll discuss why our skin requires A LOT of water, especially through drinking. We'll also look at the five symptoms of dehydration, as well as seven lifestyle changes we can take to encourage circulation to get glowing skin.

What are the Main Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin?


Dehydration can be extremely serious and even fatal if left unchecked, especially in the elderly.

Knowing the early signs will allow you to begin to reverse the symptoms.

  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Dull complexion
  • Deeper surface wrinkles
  • Itching
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry skin

Related: 5 Problems Caused by Not Drinking Enough Water

How to Keep Skin Glowing Longer


The surface layer of the skin gets thinner with age. However, if we properly hydrate the skin then we’ll be able to keep healthy skin for longer.

The elderly have the least amount of water in their bodies, and as such their skin often appears grey and dull.

Additionally, the elderly are more prone to dehydration.

Interestingly, as we age our skin becomes duller and correspondingly so does our perception of thirst.

Getting water to the outer layer of the skin becomes increasingly difficult when there is not enough water in the body.

When we’re dehydrated, our skin lacks water – resulting in dry, dull or itchy skin. When the skin is dehydrated, overall complexion will be patchy and fine lines may appear deeper.

So, how can you tell for sure whether your skin is dehydrated?

Other than checking if you have any of the symptoms above, you can test whether your skin is dehydrated with a simple pinch test.

To test whether your skin is dehydrated, simply pinch it to see if it wrinkles or sticks in position.

Diet & Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Dehydrated Skin


There are several diet and lifestyle factors that can contribute to dehydrated skin. If you feel that your skin is dehydrated, then it could be because of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of water
  • Lack of sleep
  • Eating a standard western/ American diet (SAD)
  • Illness

Related: These 3 Natural Supplements Could Improve Your Sleep

7 Lifestyle Factors That Encourage Glowing Skin

Below is a list of 7 things you can do to rehydrate your skin and encourage a healthy glow.

1.   Use Salt and Minerals to Open Up Subskin Layer

It’s critical to consume enough (of the right kind) of salt to ensure healthy circulation. Salt helps make the inside of your cells alkaline and to keep water in the blood.

Go for either sea salt or pink Himalayan salt as they are filled with trace elements which are essential for healthy skin such as calcium, potassium, selenium and zinc, alongside 80 other trace minerals.

2.   Soak in Epsom Salts/Sea Salts

Soaking in sea salts or Epsom salts has been shown to slow skin aging and calm the nervous system. There’s also calcium in the sea salts that increases circulation.

Potassium helps to balance skin moisture. Just under your skin, there are lymphatic vessels that carry waste out of your body, plus the sodium in salt helps move your lymphatic system.

3.   Sit in a Steam Room

Going to a steam room helps to open up your pores and increases the circulation of blood in the outer layers of your skin. This is great for detoxifying – ridding the body of dead cells and cellular waste.

The heat will stimulate your nerve endings, opening up the capillaries and supplying blood, water and nutrients to that area.

The body uses rationing programs if you don’t have enough water in your system. This includes keeping the water for essential internal organs and keeping it away from the outer layer of your skin.

Baths, steam rooms, steaming your face and hot towels can trick the body to change its rationing process because it senses that there’s enough water to go round.

4.   Drink Alkaline Water

Drinking alkaline water will help to make the insides of your cells alkaline, which is essential for healthy cells. Alkaline water can be consumed internally or topically. Alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9.

Acidic cells breed disease, so reducing the consumption of acid-forming foods and drinks, then replacing them for alkaline foods and alkaline water, is a good way to alkalise your body.

Related: What’s the Healthiest Water You Can Drink?

5.   Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and as such can be consumed both internally and externally to improve the quality of your skin.

ACV is ideal for the removal of spots and blemishes, it clears the skin of daily cellular waste and external build-up which will help your skin cells breathe and be more healthy overall.

6.   Eat Green Vegetables & Fruit

Consuming a diet that is heavy in plant-based nutrition will give your cells the nutrients they need to thrive and glow. If you don’t like all that chewing, you can juice your veggies or make a fruit smoothie.

The chlorophyll in green plants contains magnesium which will encourage your skin to relax and increase blood flow.

Chlorophyll will also bring more oxygen into your system, which allows your cells to breathe.

7.   Cardiovascular Exercise

Exercise is one of the only things that will pump blood into every corner of your body (including the skin). This helps your body hydrate and oxygenate, which in turn gives your skin a radiant glow.

Movement is one of the only things that moves your lymphatic system (the sewage system of the body). Therefore to eliminate waste and hydrate your whole body, drink lots of water and exercise!

The Bottom Line

Although dehydrated skin can be irritating, there are many lifestyle changes that you can make to enhance the quality of your skin. Ensuring that you stay active and properly hydrated with quality water will go a long way to improving the quality of your skin.

Consuming high-quality salt, meanwhile, will allow water to be absorbed properly by your body, while eating a diet rich in plant-based nutrition will give your body the nourishment it needs to provide nutrients to your skin.

Following these lifestyle tips will undoubtedly go a long way towards ensuring you maintain a healthy glow.

Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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shirtless man on sun-kissed beach, tipping a water bottle into his mouth

7 Ways Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight [Water Therapy]

7 Ways Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

Water has been scientifically proven to aid with weight loss and boost well-being. On the flip-side, chronic unintentional dehydration can wreak havoc on the body.

The human metabolism works via a series of complex chemical reactions and these reactions are propelled by adequate water consumption.

The life-giving properties of water are often overlooked; however, water is the first nutrient that the body needs after air. Without water, there would be no life on this planet.

In this article, we’ll discuss 7 ways that water can help you lose weight – and the science behind how water aids the breakdown of fat.

1. How the Body Views Fat


Fat is viewed as a valuable resource for the body.

In times of illness or extreme cold, fat stores are required for energy.

In children, these fat stores are brown and have a lot of blood circulating through them. In adults, the fat stores don’t have the same circulation and are white – known by science as white adipose tissue.

White adipose tissue is less easy to access for energy, for this reason, children can keep warm in cold climates and use their fat stores easily if they get ill.

Adult bodies, on the other hand, can find it difficult to use fat stores efficiently.

2. Water Breaks Down Fat


Fat in the body is clumped together to form triglycerides, which are essentially chunks of fat. For the body to use these stored resources, triglycerides must firstly be broken down into fatty acids and then released back into the body’s circulation. For this process to occur, we depend on water.

Related: Problems caused by not drinking enough water

The body breaks down its fat reserves by a process known as “hydrolysis of fat” or lipolysis. When the body’s glucose levels drop below normal levels, lipase (the enzyme required to break down fat) is activated. In one animal study, researchers found that increasing water intake increased lipolysis.

In the west, we often reach for sugary food as an instant sugar boost. This only serves to spike insulin and inhibit lipase activity. In turn, reducing the amount of fat we can burn.

Instead, ensuring that we consume enough water can help the body release stored glucose and reduce BMI.

3. Water Suppresses Appetite


When the body is thirsty, we often pick up these signals as a cue to eat.

Conversely, the less water you drink, the more food you will feel compelled to eat.

Reaching for a glass of water instead of food is a great habit to pick up to improve overall health and fat burning.

Water is involved in many neurotransmitter activities as it turns “micro-electric turbines” in our circulation. Water also fills the stomach, which sends the brain signals that we are full.

One research study found that drinking large amounts of water impacted body fat, body mass index (BMI) and appetite.

The 2014 study involved 50 overweight female participants who were instructed to drink 500ml of water 30 minutes before each meal over an eight-week period. They reported appetite suppression and a reduction in body fat and body mass index (BMI).

4. Drinking Water Reduces Liquid Calorie Intake

When thirsty or dehydrated, reach for a glass of water. Filling up with other fluids like energy drinks, soda, coffee, alcohol or fruit juice can significantly add to the calories you consume in a day.

Furthermore, many of these drinks are toxic and produce free radicals in the body that cause disease.

Related: What’s the Healthiest Water You Can Drink?

The simple act of replacing some of the liquid you drink in a day with water has been proven to help with weight loss.

In one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, females who were attending a 24-week weight loss clinic drank 250ml of water after lunch. Interestingly, this small increase in water intake resulted in a 13.6% increase in weight loss.

5. Water is a Key Energy Source


Water is the main source of energy for the body, and as such it creates the electrical and magnetic current of the body. You can think of water as the body’s currency: without it, nutrients would not be able to travel to organs, tissue couldn’t build and waste couldn’t be removed.

People often view food as the primary energy source of the body. The truth is, we can go without food for up to three weeks, but we normally can’t go for more than four days without water.

6. Water Helps the Body Exercise


Water is essential for the body to move and work effectively. As such, ensuring that the body is properly hydrated is critical when exercising.

The amount of water needed depends on body size, age, temperature and activity levels.

If you’re working out more, make sure to drink water several times during the day, especially during exercise.

7. Water is Critical for Waste Removal

The great lymphatic system of the body is the body’s sewage system – made up of 501 to 700 lymph nodes that are filled with immune cells that fight off disease.

Unlike the blood, the lymph fluid doesn’t have a pump. Adequate water is required for this system to remove cellular waste from the trillions of cells in the body.

The kidneys will filter waste from the body only if they have enough water. If the kidneys are starved of water, they can retain water and toxins.

When it comes to food digestion, the majority of waste is eliminated via the colon. This process requires water – otherwise, our system can get blocked up (constipated).

Related: How to Relieve Constipation Quickly and Naturally

Removing waste through the major elimination channels is essential in weight loss. This includes sweating, which yet again requires a lot of water and salt to work efficiently.

A lack of water can result in fluid retention that just adds to the weight shown on the scales.

The Bottom Line

Water is essential for life and as such, should be given top priority. This is especially true when looking to improve overall health and wellness.

Water helps break down fat, suppress the appetite, provide energy for the body, improve exercise and remove waste from the body.

Women need around 3 litres of water per day, and men around 4 litres for optimal health.

If weight loss is a priority, incidentally, consider reading the following articles:

The Scientific Pros and Cons of Fasting

Low Vitamin D and Weight Gain: What’s the Link?

10 Practical Lifestyle Tips for a Healthier, Happier You

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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glass of water

5 Problems Caused by Not Drinking Enough Water

5 Problems Caused by Not Drinking Enough Water

It is universally known that staying properly hydrated only brings benefits to our lives. We have our teachers, parents, relatives, nurses, doctors, friends, and even random strangers to thank for that.

This little health fact will surely be embedded in the collective human knowledge in much the same way as other catchy phrases like "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," or "a penny saved is a penny earned."

Today, with popular culture focusing an ever-brighter spotlight on the health and wellness world, even more attention is paid to hydration. Celebrity trainers constantly espouse the benefits of staying hydrated, especially during exercise. Carrying water bottles around is a huge trend. And even the sales of sports drinks are on the rise.

Being well hydrated gives us more energy throughout the day, and also helps us to maintain smooth, clear skin. Those wishing to lose weight also know that staying hydrated is essential.

The list of benefits of staying hydrated, then, is long and exhaustive – but how about the bad side of not drinking enough water? Do people really know the havoc that dehydration wreaks on our body? Is it something worth our attention? Let's find out.

1. Decrease Mental Performance


Many studies show the ill effects of dehydration on our mental function. Not only does it affect our mood and make us prone to stress, but being dehydrated greatly decreases cognitive function as well.

Many have likened its effects to that of alcohol. You wouldn’t want to drive under the influence of alcohol, and in any place around the world, such an act is considered a felony offence. Thus, many health professionals recommend that we avoid driving when dehydrated. Your reaction time is diminished and your awareness of your surroundings is impacted.

Dehydration also impedes our ability to form concrete memory. This makes it harder for us to do several of our daily tasks, especially those that require greater mental reasoning and logic.

2. Constipation


Hydration is also a crucial factor that helps our bowel movements. Fluid in our body acts as a form of a lubricant that eases the passage of food through the digestive tract. The food that we ingest goes through our digestive tract, making its way to our colon where excess water is reabsorbed into the body.

Not having enough fluid in our system could mean harder stools which are harder to pass. One solution that many health professionals recommend for those suffering from chronic constipation is to stay well hydrated at all times. Water promotes regular bowel movement that prevents constipation. And it serves as a medium in which nutrients from the food we eat can easily be absorbed in our intestines.

2. Headache

A headache is the main reason that so many people miss work. It is not a disease in itself but a symptom for a deeper problem. Most cases of headache will usually resolve by itself after a day or two of rest. But a more serious type of headache, attributed to dehydration, can persist longer and could really affect one’s life.

A dehydration headache can range from being mild, usually curable with a glass or two of water, to that of a full-blown debilitation migraine that can render a person bedridden and wracked by pain. These are all due to that fact that the body lacks fluid and electrolytes necessary for systems to function properly.

We constantly lose fluids while we do our regular daily activities so it’s important that they are replenished. A headache can be the body telling us it lacks the fluids and electrolytes it needs to function properly.

4. Dry Skin


Beauty and skin care products fly off the shelf as people desperately try to keep their skin looking young and fresh. But only a few know that there is one simple trick to keep our skin healthy: water: or more specifically, staying hydrated.

Most cases of bad skin have roots to fluids insufficiency. Dehydration makes our skin looking old, stretched out and lacklustre. Most dermatologists recommend, among other skin care habits, to drink enough fluids throughout the day and not wait to feel thirsty.

5. Muscle Cramps

There are many reasons muscle cramps occur but the most common one is due to dehydration. In most cases, especially during exercise or hot weather, if a muscle cramp occurs this could be due to lack of fluids and electrolytes in the body. It is during these times that the body loses a lot of fluid due to perspiration and exhalation, and thus it is even more imperative to increase fluid intake in order to replenish.

Even during cold weather, it is still possible to experience dehydration especially for those that work out, although the symptoms are milder and slower to manifest.

Conclusion

Humans are made up of 60% water and this water doesn’t just sit around inside us. It has a crucial part to play for our continued existence. Even a 2% loss of water from our body will result in numerous adverse effects, some of which I’ve outlined above.

There are more problems that are caused by not having enough fluid in our body. These five are simply the most common ones. It all boils down to maintaining a good balance of fluid in our body in order for all bodily systems to function optimally.

What is important is to pay attention to the signs that one might be experiencing, or is about to experience, dehydration.

Guest article by Annah Brooks, an ardent blogger who loves to write about health, beauty, fashion, food, travel and more. She blogs at KemperMedical, a leading global distributor of premium medical products including radiation protection products and radiology/ medical imaging supplies.

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Hydration for the Elderly

Dehydration and Dementia: 6 Ways to Get Elders to Drink More Water

Dehydration and Dementia: 6 Ways to Get Elders to Drink More Water

Our body needs water to properly carry out many different physiological functions, from regulating temperature through sweating and preserving blood pressure to excreting body waste and carrying out cell reactions.

The risk of dehydration is generally high with the elderly, but it’s even more pronounced for an elderly individual suffering from dementia.

Dehydration occurs when a person’s body loses more water than they can take in.

The Symptoms of Mild and Severe Dehydration


Dehydration of 2% is considered mild, while at 6% water loss the dehydration level starts to become severe.

Mild dehydration causes people to feel tired and unfocused and have headaches. However, severe dehydration can result in confusion, delirium and, if left untreated for a few days, death.

The link between elderly dementia sufferers and dehydration is down to several factors.

Firstly, people suffering from dementia often forget to drink at all, or make a drink for themselves then forget where they put it; however, oftentimes the part of the brain that deals with sending thirst signals to the body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to, leaving one unable to perceive their own thirst.

Another reason is that medication often has a diuretic effect, meaning the urge to urinate frequently and hence lose liquids fast.

In addition, diseases like diarrhea and vomiting result in immediate and significant loss of water.

However, the later stages of dementia can pose a special threat in that it becomes harder for the elderly to swallow, with the brain unable to send the appropriate signal to the mouth, causing the fluids to dribble out.

While bedridden elderly people can drink liquids, the fact that they cannot get their own drink often leads them to dehydration when water is not accessible or they are left alone.

As dementia also causes confusion – similar to dehydration – other symptoms of dehydration must be checked to ensure a patient’s delirious symptoms are not caused by dementia.

These symptoms include papery dry skin, dark and fetid urine and sunken eyes.

Tips for Increasing Hydration Among the Elderly

To prevent dehydration and properly fuel the bodily functions, keep these ideas in mind when taking care of elderly loved ones.

  1. Leave water out. Make it simpler for the elderly suffering from dementia by leaving out cups of water in all the rooms of the house where they spend time.
  2. Make the process easier. If your loved one struggles with dexterity and is unable to hold a jug or glass to pour from, keep easy-mouthed bottles, two-handled cups and one-way straws around to minimise spillage and discomfort.
  3. Use notes or reminders. It can greatly help if dementia patients are reminded of what they need to do. Leaving notes around the house, installing an hourly water alarm or delegating the reminding task to each house member whenever they talk to the elder can effectively tackle dehydration problems.
  4. Make beverages they would enjoy drinking. Instead of just providing plain water, try to add lemon, orange or cucumber in their drinks. Giving them fresh juices, smoothies and teas will not only help them stay hydrated but will also supply them with healthy nutrients.
  5. Provide hydrating foods. Some people are not fond of drinking water, so instead they can eat food with a high-water content. Examples include most juicy fruits, veggies like tomato or cucumber, soups and cottage cheese.
  6. Avoid drying food. Elderly patients should avoid coffee, alcohol and high protein drinks, as they all have a diuretic effects and drain water from the body. This can worsen dehydration.

Conclusion

Water is not only needed to prevent dehydration but it’s critical in keeping our immunity strong while warding off heart diseases, blood pressure and diabetes.

Water is the main source of life in our bodies; the human body is itself composed of 60% water; therefore a big chunk of keeping a check on our loved ones’ health is related to taking care of their hydration needs.

This guest post was written by Brooke Whistance, a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her family, including her parents and two siblings. Follow her on Twitter: @IamBrooke94.

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Tips For Boosting Energy During the Summer

Tips For Boosting Energy During the Summer

The summer heat can be draining. The wrong food choices, such as heavy foods, can make us feel drained and tired.

Lack of water also plays a big role in how we feel. Many people don’t drink enough water when it’s hot out. They also eat the wrong foods, which can cause dehydration. Here are some tips for keeping water and energy levels up this summer.

Hydration and Energy

Water doesn’t just quench your thirst; it is crucial for keeping energy levels up. Water plays important roles in keeping the body healthy. When the body lacks proper amounts, some metabolic processes may be affected, which leads to fatigue.

  1. Water regulates the digestive system.

Think of the digestive system as your internal plumbing. When your plumbing is backed up, you feel bloated and sluggish. Water is like lubrication for your internal pipes. It helps moves toxins out of the body by flushing toxins through the GI and urinary tract.

Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants along with drinking lots of water is the best way to naturally detox. Antioxidants bind to free radical toxins and neutralize them. Drinking lots of water will help you flush those free radicals out.

  1. Dehydration slows down cognitive function and causes headaches.

No one has much energy when they have a headache or a migraine. Dehydration is a major cause of headaches and migraines.

According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, fluid loss of just 1.36 perfect after exercise impaired mood and concentration in young women. It also increased the frequency of headaches.

The key to preventing headaches and concentration impairment is to drink water before you feel thirsty. Your body is usually already depleted by the time you feel the urge to drink come on. Aim for 10 sips of water every hour to be sure you are staying properly hydrated in the hot summer months; more if you are exercising or being active.

  1. Water helps with weight loss.

Putting on a few extra pounds may have been easy to hide in the winter months when everyone is covered up with sweaters. But in the summer, those few extra pounds can really tire you out.

According to a 2010 study published in Obesity, dieters who drank half a liter of water approximately 30 minutes before eating a meal lost 44 percent more weight over a time frame of 12 weeks. Drinking water 30 minutes before eating a meal can also help make you feel full so you’ll eat less calories.

Other Energy Boosting Tips

In addition to drinking more water, here are a few more tips to staying light and energized throughout the summer.

  1. Eat smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to three larger ones.

Feeding your body smaller portions of food frequently throughout the day is great for your energy levels. Eating every two hours means you always have food in your system to give you energy. In addition, your digestive system will thank you. It takes more work for your GI tract to break down larger portions of food. If you constantly feel sluggish after meals, you might be eating too much and overtaxing your digestive system.

  1. Try a cleanse!

There is no better way to re-energize than by getting toxins out and resetting your system, so to speak. It may also help you drop some inches and feel more confident in your swim suit!

  1. Swap out your morning cup of coffee.

It may seem counterproductive to omit caffeine from your diet first thing in the morning when you are trying to wake up. But according to a 2013 study, drinking coffee first thing in the morning depletes energy levels.

The best way to energize in the morning is by fuelling your body correctly. Try drinking a glass of purified water first thing in the morning, following up a bowl of oats with a hot cup of chicory tea.

  1. Keep a journal.

Your diet may be the reason you feel so sluggish this summer. Keep a journal of the foods you eat and the way they make you feel after eating them. Also be sure to write down what time of day you ate the meal and what time of day you started experiencing the sluggish symptoms. Some people will experience immediate discomfort from a food that disagrees with them while others won’t feel it until 2-3 hours after eating it.

  1. Take your B’s!

B vitamins are involved in energy production. Phresh Greens includes the power of B vitamins from green leafy plant based sources such as kale, spinach, parsley, wheat grass and collard powders, to help naturally detox the body.

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man drink water from a bottle

Unusual Symptoms of Dehydration & How Best to Tackle Them

Unusual Symptoms of Dehydration & How Best to Tackle Them

A large number of people suffer from dehydration without being aware of it.

This is not the severe type of dehydration from which you suffer when you take an hour long run at midday on a summer afternoon that might put you in hospital, but rather the mild to moderate level on which so many people live almost permanently.

The consequences are equally grave in the long term, and they are easily avoidable if you know the signs that you are dehydrated.

Thirst and Dry Mouth

Thirst is the most typical sign that you are dehydrated, but if you are like most permanently dehydrated people, you are so used to this feeling that you have come to think of it as normal.

Drink around eight glasses of clean, purified water for a few consecutive days to understand what the absence of thirst feels like.

Your mouth is also meant to be permanently moist, but if you are dehydrated, your body has no water from which to produce saliva. This may lead to bad breath, another possible dehydration symptom, as your saliva is meant to wash away bacteria and scraps of old food sticking to your teeth.

Hunger Pangs

Glycogen is a store of carbohydrates that is kept in your body's tissue for energy. Your liver uses water to release this glycogen when you need energy. If you are short of water, your liver cannot release these energy reserves, which makes you crave carbohydrate rich food to supply the energy that you body cannot produce for itself.

Unfortunately, as many common 21st century carbohydrates like refined bread and cookies are low on water, they may worsen your dehydration if they are not consumed with water. This is also how dehydration contributes to obesity: you eat because your body needs direct energy to make up for the reserves that it cannot use.

Characteristics of Urine

Dehydrated people normally urinate less, and their urine is darker than that of properly hydrated people. Normal urine is meant to be clear, with only the slightest tinge of yellow. When it is yellow or a honey-yellow, amber colour, you have a serious problem. If you drink a lot of coffee and alcohol, which are diuretics, you may not urinate less, but more.

This does not mean that your body has enough water to discard, however; it means that your body is disposing of all the water that it keeps in reserve to ensure that you never run short. The colour of your urine is, thus, a better sign than the amount you produce.

Muscle Cramps

The nerves and muscles that connect to them are surrounded by water. When your body runs short of water, it withdraws fluid from your skin and less vital internal systems to supply the essential systems without which you will immediately die.

If your muscles and their nerves run short of fluid, they become sensitive and/or spasm and contract. That is why medical experts always recommend that you drink water while exercising. Your muscles can function without severe pain only if they have enough water.

Dehydrated Skin

When your skin is dry and absorbs water almost immediately when you moisten it, you may be dehydrated. To protect its essential organs from a water shortage, your body steals water away from your skin.

Dehydrated skin is also less elastic, which means that you will develop wrinkles and stretch marks more easily and at an earlier stage of life than you would have if you had been hydrated properly. If you pinch and pull your skin away from your body and let go, it should snap back immediately. If it takes time, it is insufficiently moisturised.

Headaches

Your brain is surrounded by fluid that protects it from the hardness of your skull. If you are dehydrated, much of this fluid is withdrawn to serve your vital organs. Your brain is then not as well protected against sudden movements and bumps against your skull.

Most experts believe that the headaches are not caused by collisions with your skull, but rather by the pain sensors that surround your brain as a warning signal to you that your brain needs water to prevent it from being injured. Dehydrated people also lack essential salts like sodium and potassium, which are chemical changes that the brain may convert to headaches.

Increased Heart Rate and Palpitations

When there is a shortage of fluid, your heart tries to compensate by pumping harder and faster to get the scarce fluid to all the place where it is needed. Even your blood pressure drops to facilitate the easy distribution of blood. You will experience this as an increase in your pulse rate and as your heart's pounding or skipping, especially when you get up after sitting or lying down. When you get up, your brain normally panics at the possibility of a water shortage and demands as much fluid as possible in the shortest time possible. This results in a sudden drop in blood pressure and a sudden increase in heart rate.

All this is relatively normal, but if your heart rate remains fast and your blood pressure remains low even minutes after you have gotten up, you are dehydrated. If you have a lifestyle that renders you almost permanently dehydrated, you are overworking your heart unnecessarily.

Dizziness

If you often feel dizzy, especially when you get up after sitting or lying down, you may be dehydrated. This is caused, firstly, by a lack of sufficient fluid reaching the brain and, secondly, by the drop in blood pressure that coincides with your heart's attempt to pump the meagre available fluid around your body.

As seen above, when you get up, your heart must temporarily pump harder to get enough blood to your brain. The dizziness is caused by your brain's emergency conservation of its meagre water supply and by the low blood pressure.

Cognitive and Psychological Impairment

Permanently dehydrated people think it is normal to feel tired, listless, and mentally and emotionally sluggish. After all, they feel like this permanently, so they do not realise that it is possible to feel energetic, emotionally upbeat, and cognitively quick and alert.

Cognitive and emotional energy are two of the first things you will notice if you start drinking enough fluid. You will think faster and better, and you will feel more cheerful and less irritable.

Physical Exhaustion

In general terms, you need water to keep your bodily cells alive and functioning. Without water, they cannot operate optimally. This holds for the cells in all the systems throughout your body.

An immune system with dehydrated cells fails to protect you from disease, a metabolic system with dehydrated cells produces insufficient energy, and so forth. Dehydration, therefore, manifests in the gradual impairment of your body as a whole, which you can normally detect as fatigue.

You will feel the difference immediately when you start consuming enough fluid.

The Remedy for Dehydration

Most obviously, you must drink enough water to remain hydrated. Alkaline, hydrogen rich water with its small molecules is the best type of water to drink, as it can easily flow through membranes to where it is needed, and as it helps to maintain your body's appropriate pH level that aids the distribution of oxygen and water.

Dehydrated bodies also contain many cells that are dying, however, which requires that you take in enough carbohydrates and electrolytes to re-energise them. Instead of drinking sports drinks, which may contain high fructose corn syrup and caffeine, rather drink coconut water and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices.

Herbal tea is also acceptable, but since some herbs have diuretic and stimulant effects, stick to the water, coconut water, and juices in the more severe cases.

Also, try drinking more warm water as many people have reported feeling more easily hydrated after drinking this when compared to cold water. This may be because in general things do tend to flow easier when warmed up slightly, and on a molecular level this can speed up how fast your organs and cells get the hydration they need to thrive.

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Children Found to Have Improved Memory and Attention When Hydrated

Children Found to Have Improved Memory and Attention When Hydrated

Children Found to Have Improved Memory and Attention When Hydrated

All parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and hopefully intelligent enough to be able to attend university if this is what the child wants, and/or enjoy successful careers. Beyond healthy eating, you will be surprised to learn how big a role water can play in the cognitive development of your children, and how too frequently it is overlooked.

Scientific researchers have discovered that hydrated seven to nine-year-old children are able to concentrate and memorise better than dehydrated children of the same age. They perform better on visual attention tasks and spot the difference memory tasks. This means that they can learn faster and better, which will stand them in good stead at elementary school, but will also cement good learning habits for when they grow up. If they can concentrate and successfully retrieve learned facts from memory, they are likely to enjoy learning more than the kids who struggle.

Few other things have the same motivational power as the feeling of getting something right. Regular water can help them learn easier, learn more, and develop good learning habits.

10 to 12-year-olds who drink enough water score better on a variety of cognitive tests, including hidden figures, auditory number span, making groups, verbal analogies, and number addition. It is hard to learn mathematical skills as an adult, unless one is particularly motivated. If children can learn it well at a young age, they will have a substantial advantage over those who cannot.

As much as we wish the world functioned differently, children who do better at school are likely to be better liked by their teachers and to receive plenty of positive attention from those teachers. The more positive teaching experiences they have, the better they are likely to learn and the more they are likely to achieve in the academic arena. The converse can unfortunately become a downward spiral for underachieving kids from which many of them do not recover. Negative learning experiences can put a child off learning for life.

Moreover, kids who struggle to concentrate may find something other than school work to keep them entertained in class, and may thereby irritate teachers and classmates to the point where they become unpopular or where they are permanently in trouble. This can change their trajectories from basically good kids to potential dropouts just because of missing a positive start.

Since all their organs are still developing, it is incredibly important that children consume enough water every single day. As a percentage of body weight, their bodies contain slightly more water than those of adults (75 per cent versus 66-70 per cent) and their bodies' cooling mechanisms are not yet as well developed. That is why children on sports fields dehydrate more frequently than adults. That is also why kids that are only slightly dehydrated, between one and two per cent, can suffer serious cognitive impairments. Children should accordingly consume as much, or even more, water than adults. Three litres of water per day is ideal.

While it may be good enough for adults, children should not wait until they are thirsty before they drink. Thirst is a sign that children are already moderately dehydrated and it is likely that water can then no longer be replaced before substantial cognitive and physical impairment. Water with a pinch of sea salt and some fruit squeezed into it is then the best choice to re-hydrate them as quickly as possible.

How to Avoid Dehydration

Children often cannot get their own water. This is especially true for the younger ones. Even those children who are old enough to fetch their own water may not be responsible enough to do so. You can pack a filled water bottle in their school bags so that they have water on hand at all times. Older children can be given watches with alarms that you set for water drinking breaks. The most important action you can take is to demonstrate regular water drinking behaviour through your own actions.

Many children do not like water and consequently refuse to drink it. In many cases, this occurs when they have been given sweet fizzy soft drinks to which they have become addicted. The easiest solution is to introduce them to unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies. These might be sweet enough with natural fructose to keep them happy. You can also try to flavour water slightly with lemon, orange, apple, grape, watermelon or any other sweet fruit you have in the fridge.

Ensure that they consume very little caffeine, such as in coffee, some teas, and some energy drinks. Caffeine is a mild diuretic that will make them perspire and urinate more.

Pick a school with sensible sports policies and practices. Children who do strenuous exercise over the warmest mid-day hours are more likely to dehydrate. Coaches should also allow children to drink before, during, and after games.

Keep young children out of school with you or a competent child minder if they have diarrhoea, as this can dehydrate them very quickly.

Conclusion

Give your children the best start possible by ensuring that they drink enough water every day. The information they learn and working habits they acquire as children will make their lives and your life so much easier. You could try our Energy Plus Water Filter System or our Biocera Alkaline Water Jug to start getting your children to drink sound healthy water.

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Become Happier by Getting Properly Hydrated

Become Happier by Getting Properly Hydrated

Become Happier by Getting Properly Hydrated

The human body is designed so that around 70 per cent of it should consist of water. This is why doctors, naturopaths, and nutritionists are repeatedly telling us to drink between two and three litres of water per day. If we fail to supply our cells and organs with this amount of water, we turn things that can function properly only when hydrated into things that are as impotent as the dry leaves that die and fall off trees.

When we learn about healthy eating and nutritional requirements, we learn about vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. These nutrients are, however, useless without providing our bodies with the water they need to absorb and distribute them. The first lesson should be about water, since absolutely no physical, cognitive or psychological operations can occur normally without it.

Feel Happier Through Proper Hydration

The evidence that hydrated people are happier and function better is strong.

Dehydrated people report feeling lethargic, tired, and low-spirited. They also feel less happy and more anxious. They complain of headaches. They report feeling tired, de-motivated and sure that they are performing poorly.

These are problems that can interfere powerfully with our ability to be happy, to do our jobs well, and to do enjoyable recreational activities like swimming, walking or just going out with friends. Dehydration is, thus, damaging in itself, because it makes those activities more difficult to perform. But it is also damaging because of the self-fulfilling prophecy it creates.

The more tired we are, the less we do, and the less we do, the more tired we become because our bodies are not being exercised and thereby properly maintained. Or, the more de-motivated and incapable we feel, the more poorly we perform, and the more poorly we perform, the more de-motivated and incapable we feel. This can become a horrible downward spiral that drives happiness and confidence down to zero.

Concentration Levels Rise

On the other hand, hydrated people concentrate better, have better short-term memories, and feel more alert. They are quicker to identify and react to objects, an ability called visuomotor function. This enables them to be good athletes, artists, and any other occupation that requires fast movement in response to visual identification of objects. Their psychomotor skills are better, which means they move quicker and better when they decide to carry out a task. Their body temperature is better regulated, so they do not feel permanently uncomfortably cold or hot. They eat smaller meals, so they avoid the bloating and lethargy that large meals leave in their wake. Best of all, since water temporarily increases metabolic rate, frequent water drinkers can have a better metabolism. Since the point of metabolism is to release energy, these lucky people have more energy and are in a better position to combat obesity.

There are many reasons why bodies sufficiently hydrated with a regular water intake are happier and more effective:

Boost Eye Health

We all know how it feels when our eyes are dry. They are itchy and scratchy and they want to blink more often than they work. When we drink too little water, that is what happens throughout our bodies. Tissue everywhere dries out, receives no nutrients, reduces functioning to the bare minimum, and after a period of struggling desperately to function, it dies. The human body cannot survive without water for more than three days.

Removal of Waste Products & Delivery of Nutrients

Water helps our bodies remove waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. Waste consists of nutrients that the body cannot store, excess salt, fat, and other substances that do serious damage to the body when stored, medication and environmental toxins that are poisonous when they are not excreted immediately, and so forth. Bodies that cannot secrete toxic substances quickly do not function as well as those that can, because those substances damage and kill the cells on which bodily functions depend.

Water, in the form of blood, distributes oxygen and nutrients through the body to where they are needed. Calcium cannot reach the bones, vitamin A cannot reach the eyes and skin, and omega 3 fatty acids cannot reach the brain without water to move them there. A heart attack and stroke show quite definitively what happens when oxygen cannot reach the heart and brain.

Being Hydrated Helps Digestion

It helps with the breakdown of the food we eat. This starts with saliva that breaks down especially carbohydrates. It is also the fundamental component in the stomach acid that breaks food into particles that the body can absorb. Without water, nothing we eat can be converted into a form in which the body can use it.

Water prevents bloating and uncomfortable indigestion by softening food so it can be excreted effortlessly and painlessly.

Joints & Organs Need Water Too

It lubricates the joints. Without water, joints will be stiff and sore with every movement involving bone rubbing against bone.

Water surrounds essential organs to act as a shock absorber and cushion when the body is jolted. The brain, spinal cord, liver, kidneys, and all other organs are tightly packed in fluid of which water is the basic constituent.

Sinus Health, Clotting Ability & Thermoregulation Improved

It helps the body maintain the temperature at which it functions best. When it is warmed up too fast, such as when burning fat during exercise, water is excreted through perspiration to cool it. Water warms the cold air and moisture that we consume from our environments so it can match our bodies' temperatures. Without proper regulation of body temperature, we are at best uncomfortable and at worst running the risk of a potentially life threatening fever.

It helps liquid stay liquid, instead of clotting. Everyone who has had a sinus headache can testify to the debilitating effects of clotted dried mucus in the sinuses. Dry coughing is another effect of mucus that is too thick to move.

Stay Hydrated Everyday to Feel Your Happiest

Hydrated bodies are, therefore, more effective and happy than dehydrated bodies. You can easily remain hydrated by drinking at least two litres of water a day and by eating plenty of water-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts. In addition, steer clear of diuretics like caffeine and alcohol that will make you lose a lot of unnecessary water. For further added health benefits, try drinking alkaline water. To start your journey towards better hydration, how about trying out Biocera Alkaline Water Jug.

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Looking to Do Better in Exams? Why You Shouldn't Forget the Water!

Looking to Do Better in Exams? Why You Shouldn't Forget the Water!

Researchers at University of East London and University of Westminster recently discovered that students who took water into the exams received better marks than those who did not. While they did not investigate the exact mechanisms through which water had this astonishing effect, several educated guesses can be offered that are based on some known properties of water. Water itself has no intelligence-boosting functions...

In fact, water contains no special properties that promote exceptional functioning of body or mind. Instead, most people consume so little water that they function in a constant state of dehydration, relative to which hydrated water drinkers are better off.

In other words, the issue is not how well water drinkers function, but how badly non-drinkers function. The students who performed well did not perform superbly because of the water; those who received lower marks did badly because of the lack of water.

Once this is understood, we can see that the power of a sufficient intake of water lies in its ability to enable normal physical and mental functioning, rather than unrivalled brilliance.

This should make everyone feel optimistic, because it means that the vast majority of people can perform a lot better than they currently are.

Dehydration

Dehydration is more common than most people realise.

 

  • Consumers of caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee are likely to be dehydrated because caffeine serves as a weak diuretic that increases either urine output, or at least the need to urinate.
  • Alcohol is an even stronger diuretic, so without constant water drinking, regular drinkers may lose a considerable amount of body fluid.
  • Those who exercise regularly and those who work in warm offices or factories without sufficient water intake lose substantial water through perspiration.
  • People who work hard all day without frequent water breaks fail to consume enough water to remain properly hydrated.

There are therefore numerous categories of people who are severely or moderately dehydrated, which means they are probably not as functional as they can be.

The Consequences of Dehydration

Scientific literature is replete with studies that show the negative effects of dehydration on performance.

 

  • Water is crucial for the maintenance of an appropriate body temperature, so one cause of poorer performance by dehydrated individuals may simply be discomfort from outdoor heat or indoor heating, or from outdoor cold or indoor air-conditioning.
  • Dehydrated soldiers and athletes have reported feeling fatigued and de-motivated, and claimed that they felt as if they were performing poorly. The perception that one is doing badly can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if it drains ones confidence to continue performing well.
  • In another study, researchers found that mild dehydration negatively affected memory and increased fatigue and anxiety. That can certainly complicate performance on an exam or on any other task where memory and concentration are key.
  • Some studies show that water can temporarily increase your metabolic rate, likely because your body has to warm it up to match your body temperature. A good metabolic rate frees up sufficient energy to facilitate effective physical and mental performance.

Some caveats

Drinking only one bottle of water on exam day will not have any benefits. Physicians do not recommend two litres of water per day on a whim. To have beneficial effects, water must consistently be consumed in large amounts. One can assume that students in the British study who brought water into the exam were generally water drinkers who quite likely also carried water in their handbags and their vehicles for constant hydration.

Water alone cannot turn you into the next Rhodes scholar or large multi-national's chief executive officer. Studying and hard work remain vital. However, drinking sufficient water can turn you into a better performer than you would be when you are dehydrated, which is something to strive for.

To get the most out of your exams, you could try filling your water bottle with alkaline water water from the Biocera Alkaline Water Jug.

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