Like many people, I have always known the importance of drinking water but I don’t consume enough of the stuff. It’s not that I am deliberately being unhealthy and want to cause irreversible damage to my kidneys; I just have never made drinking lots of fluid a regular habit that comes naturally to me. However, after reading
the following post on the subject by Andrew Atkinson (a director of mobility products specialists MobilitySmart), I have decided to make a conscious effort in my life to drink more often:
‘Are you dehydrated?
If you are, then your mind and body aren’t working to the best of their ability. Whether you’re exercising, spending your time volunteering or filling your days with your favourite hobbies, you’re missing out on feeling your best.
How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated
Can you tell if you’re dehydrated? Most people believe that they’d know, but it’s a fact that a majority of people aren’t able to recognise the signs of dehydration.
In some cases, people are just too distracted to notice that they’re feeling a little thirsty. If you’re concentrating on another task, forgetting to drink is surprisingly easy to do. However, a much bigger phenomenon is also at play.
The human body learns to block signals that it’s been experiencing for a while, even if those signals are the body’s own warning signs. You can test this theory by pressing a finger onto your arm, waiting a while and removing it. You felt your finger as you pressed it onto your skin, and you no doubt felt it for a little while afterwards, but eventually your body becomes numb to the sensation and you no longer notice the pressure. If you’ve been dehydrated for a little while then you learn to dull the symptoms. You might become completely accustomed to the level of thirst, the headaches and the dry mouth that you’re experiencing. As you read about them you may suddenly notice that you’re feeling thirsty, but this won’t always be the case.
Did you know that human beings are losing touch with their body’s signals? You should be able to tell the difference between hunger and thirst, but it’s often impossible to distinguish between the two. If you’re feeling a desire to eat, drinking instead might be more beneficial. Current obesity levels might in part be attributed to people not recognising that they’re thirsty rather than hungry.
How Much Should You Be Drinking?
As a rough guide, women should be consuming 2.7 litres of water per day. Men should be consuming more – a total of 3.5 litres. If you’re currently drinking nowhere near this amount then it’s highly likely that you’re dehydrated, even if you feel entirely comfortable.
Your body is used to what you’re drinking. It’s able to adapt, but not entirely. Whilst you might not feel constantly thirsty, your organs aren’t functioning as well as they should be. Long-term dehydration can lead to a wide range of problems including memory loss, concentration issues, organ damage and the slowing of your metabolism.
Start drinking more and after a week you should notice that you’re no longer able to survive on what you used to drink. Your body now recognises when you’re dehydrated, because it’s experienced the feeling of being properly hydrated. You’ll probably feel much MORE thirsty, but be aware that this is a good thing.
As you start to drink more water, you’ll find that you need to use the toilet much more. This, again, is because your body isn’t used to being hydrated. After a short while, your body will adapt to being hydrated and you’ll be able to stop visiting the restroom as much.
Why is Water So Important?
Your blood is 83% water. Your muscles and your brain are 75% water. Hydration is vital to your health, and if weight loss is a priority then you’ll also be pleased to know that it’s easier to lose weight when you’re well hydrated.
How Should You Drink Your Water?
Fresh water at body temperature is the best possible drink, but feel free to adapt what you’re drinking if you prefer your water to be heated or to be cooled in the fridge. Try not to add too many other ingredients – water is better than squash, juice, tea, coffee or soda – but squeezing a slice of lemon or lime into your water can help to improve the taste without removing any of the benefits.
If you’re struggling to remember how much to drink then you can buy a 750ml flask or sports bottle and use it for all of your drinks. Aim to have filled it, and to have consumed the contents, an absolute minimum of 3 times per day. If you’re using a glass then it can be easy to pour drinks of different volumes or to forget how many times you’ve filled up your glass, but it’s easier to keep track of what you’ve put in your flask and you can take it out and about.
It’s not easy to get into the habit of drinking as much water as you should, but by setting yourself some reminders and keeping track of how much you’re consuming you’ll soon find that you’re more hydrated, more alert and healthier. Drink enough water and your life can be enjoyed more’.
Please feel free to E-Mail me if you would like to appear in my Guestbook. Thank you to Andrew for writing a very interesting and informative piece. It has certainly made me thirsty.
Bye for now!