GLOHS Organic Skincare & Health Products

On Hydration

Have you ever felt the following on a regular basis? Dry mouth, light-headed, headaches, lethargic, poor concentration? This can be a sign that you are experiencing symptoms of dehydration.

This is a serious issue. By the time you experience symptoms of dehydration, it is in fact too late to rehydrate already. The severity becomes much more acute in infants, children and the elderly. (Babies and young children cannot tell you they need water right?) In extreme cases, it can lead to death. 

Water makes up at least 60% of our total body weight. It is needed for many vital bodily functions to keep us alive. So what are they?

Water regulates our body temperature. When we are hot, our body will naturally sweat to keep the body cool. 

Water helps deliver nutrients to our cells. Our blood is responsible for carrying glucose, oxygen and other nutrients around the body. The circulation of oxygen is also vital for maintaining our cardiovascular health. Put another way, when you exercise, and stay hydrated, your cardiovascular performance should be better than when you are not drinking enough water.

Water lubricates our joints,  prevent muscle cramps, and provide moisture to our eyes. 

Water helps with digestion of food and keeps our skin healthy. (Read previous blog “Wrinkles – the Demon of Ageing” .  When we do not drink enough water, our skin looks sullen and dull as toxins are not properly flushed out.

Water keeps our vital organs functioning. This is especially important for our key detox organ – our kidneys. Without water, our kidneys cannot rid waste from our body. 

Water helps in improving sleep quality, cognition and mood. Remember the nights with one too many drinks and not enough water? Won’t sleep well for sure. 

There are a few benchmarks out there in terms of how much water we should consume each day. We are all brought up to remember to drink 8 glasses of water each day, and perhaps more depending on your sex and body size. You may then ask, but I drink other drinks during the day – my coffee, tea, milk and so on; so do those count too?

The answer is, some do and some do not. Besides water, some drinks will also add to your net water in-take. Even coffee and tea, which will cause a dehydrated effect in your body from the caffeine, will still contribute to some water in-take (but should probably not be drunk as key water source). Milk, or juice can be counted, with latter limited to a glass a day. Sugary drinks? Nah. 

A good way to absorb water is to eat more foods with biological water. Think watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and so on. These foods contain high water content and can be easily absorbed by our body. 

When you are exercising, you will be sweating more as your metabolism goes up. Therefore, it is important to keep the body hydrated to ensure that the heart functions well and fluids are properly replenished, especially during the summer or when engaging in outdoor sports. At times, besides water, ionised drinks can rehydrate the body faster. I am referring to coconut water, which contains natural ions. 

A final word on how to drink water for best absorption. When you are very thirsty, there is a tendency to gulp the entire glass of water in one go. However, when we drink that way, our body cannot absorb the water fast enough, and the water will mostly get passed out of our body without being absorbed. Effort wasted.

The best way is to take a few sips of water every 15 minutes or so over the course of the day. Keep water with you when you are out and about. Drink plenty of water when you drink coffee, tea or alcohol to avoid dehydration. 

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