Do you drink enough water?

Water. Such an important aspect of our health and how the body functions.

The human body is roughly 60% water, although this can vary in individuals, however as you can see, with water being such a large component of our physical body, ensuring we maintain our hydration is key to health.

Water has many roles in the body. It acts as a solvent, a transporter of chemicals in the body, assists in growth, is a catalyst for chemical reactions, acts as a lubricant, regulates temperature through sweating and can be a mineral source.

For optimal health it is important to maintain a healthy fluid balance in the body. Water is consumed through food and drinks and lost through excretion, sweat and expired air. Maintaining a balance of fluid in comparative to fluid lost is essential for a healthy balance.

It is easy for the body to become dehydrate, as typically the feeling of thirst may not always be triggered until 1-2% of body weight in water is lost. It is best to try and avoid dehydration occurring as it effects our overall performance and health.

On average, with a typical healthy diet, around 4 cups of water is consumed from food, the rest is required to be consumed from fluids. On average the general recommendation of fluid consumption is 8 cups per day, on top of that which has been consumed with food. However, if you want to be more specific, typical requirements are 40ml per kg of body weight per day.

However, if you are exercising, working in the heat or sweating excessively your fluid requirements may be higher and it is best to be consuming fluids regularly to maintain performance, rather than once the body is dehydrated. It is also possible in the above situations for electrolytes to become imbalanced, so consuming water with an electrolyte replacement may be beneficial.

Tips I often recommend to my clients to ensure they maintain their fluid intake are to:

1. Have a water bottle with them and in sight and to drink every time they see it.

2. Set an alarm as a reminder.

3. Every time they are hungry have a drink first as hunger can sometimes be an indication of thirst.

I always start my morning with a large glass of water to help re-hydrate the body after sleep and try to consume regular amounts every hour or two. I find once the body gets used to the regular water intake, the signs of thirst become more apparent.

So, get the goodness into you. Regularly.

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