Following our last blog post on #selfcaresunday about the benefits of staying hydrated during a hot bath… we thought we’d touch on the importance of drinking the right amount of water for your body each day.
We as humans are made up of approximately 70% water and every single living cell in the body needs it to function properly. Just 3 to 4 days without water and we are in serious trouble.
We unconsciously lose water from our bodies every day, which needs to be constantly replaced. Water is lost in sweat - aside from the obvious occasions when we exercise, or on a hot day - when we are sedentary and relaxing, the body is still working tirelessly to thermoregulate and maintain a core temperature. Water is also lost through urination and even when we exhale.
The recommended daily intake is 2 litres for women and 3 litres for men. Which seems a lot right? Where does it all go! Well, essentially everywhere.
We need water to lubricate our joints, to produce saliva to help digest food and to flush the body of waste. Our blood is made up of 90% water, so it is essential for the transport of oxygen around the body and for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Dehydration leads to a thickening of the blood, increasing the blood pressure and thereby increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Water is important for respiratory function; when we are dehydrated, the body restricts the airways in order to minimise water loss, which can then trigger things like asthma and allergies. We need it for kidney function, to cushion the brain, the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and when we think about the impact on the skin – the largest organ in the human body – all you have to do is imagine the difference between a juicy plump grape, and a dry shrivelled raisin…
But you know what? It is HARD to remember to drink that much water! I’ve tried. It often gets to 5pm on a working day and I’m suddenly gasping for a drink, realising I haven’t had a single sip all day. Even when Ido remember, it’s certainly difficult to sinka whole 2 litres! It becomes a chore. For a start it’s completely tasteless, not to mention highly inconvenient having to keep returning to the bathroom every half an hour!
Anyway – if we’re going to try and be well behaved for the hydration police let’s at least try to make chugging 2 litres of the stuff interesting!
Invest in a beautiful reusable water bottle for water on the go
Mine does a wonderful job of reminding me to sip little and often throughout the whole day. This way I never get to the point where I’m gasping for a drink. By the time we recognise that we are thirsty, our bodies are already far too dehydrated! A great option for a reusable water bottle (in my totally unbiased opinion I might add) is the Yoga Therapies Water Bottle, which can be ordered online or purchased in studio.
Infusing water with different citrus fruits
Liven up your H2O, while also introducing additional nutritional benefits into your hydration schedule!
I like to make a few large pitchersof infused water to keep chilled in the fridge, to top my water bottle up with each day:
8 cups of water
2 limes, slices
1 large lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
Plenty of ice!
Recipes like this keep well for around 3 days, and I usually allow at least 4 hours for the fruits to infuse. I make mine before bed and leave to infuse overnight.
Another favourite of mine is a strawberry/basil combination:
8 cups of water,
1 large lemon, sliced
1/2 cup of strawberries, stemmed and sliced(fresh or frozen)
5 large basil leaves, torn up
Plenty of ice!
With this recipe, the basil leaves will last 2-3 days, but swapping the basil for rosemary would keep for up to a week.
You can throw any kind of fruity combination together; have fun experimenting with different flavours and herbs… after all, water is the elixir, and variety is the spice of life!