health benefits of water

Drink water to stay healthy

The health benefits of water are often underestimated.My advice to everyone is drink water to stay healthy and hydrated every day. Water is so important for our overall health and well-being.

You are thinking that’s ok, I drink plenty every day but what are you actually drinking? Tea? Coffee? Fizzy drinks? more on those later…

Now think about your car, would you ever run your car without oil and fuel? No, I didn’t think so! Water is essential to your body as oil and fuel are to your car. This is why you need to drink water to stay healthy and hydrated.

 Why we need water

Our body composition is somewhere between 50 -75% water,the variation relates to our age, state of health and of course, how much and what we drink. What does our body do with all that water? Here are some of the health benefits of water:

Every time you breathe you release water

Detoxing doesn’t happen without water; we detox our toxins through perspiration and urination. To put it bluntly, you don’t wee or perspire effectively if you are dehydrated.

Do you suffer dry mucus membranes like your nose or eyes? Is  your mouth constantly dry? Your body is lubricated by water it helps support our protective mucus membranes.

Menopausal women can help themselves by ensuring they are properly hydrated it eases the hot flushes as it does when your child has a fever.

Are you feeling like your skin is aging prematurely? Drinking enough water plumps up your skin and eases any wrinkles. I hope that makes you re-think your drinking habits

Our bodies contain a lot of water

The body organs are comprised of high percentages of water.

Our brains and hearts contain 73% – easy to see how confusion can set in if the brain is dehydrated

Lungs contain 83% water – it is essential to our breathing processes

Skin is made up of 64% water

Muscles and kidneys 79%

Even bones are 31% water

Can you still argue water is not important?

Water and our general reluctance to drink it can present serious health problems. Within my practice I am staggered by how little water people drink and how they don’t see it as a health concern.

Perhaps now you can begin to see that many conditions can be related to dehydration? This is why I advise you to understand the health benefits of water

Stress affects our physical health

We lead such stressful lives that we frequently don’t even realise we are stressed. Histamine levels rise along with our stress levels. Raised histamine levels increase sensitivity and can result in allergies. Likewise, dehydration can lead to raised histimine levels – keep on drinking water to ease those allergy symptoms.

Our bodies are amazing and when they are out of balance precious resources such as water get rationed. If you go into flight or fight mode as we so often do when stress occurs the heart and brain will receive water but your stomach may not. Ultimately, that could lead to acid reflux and other digestive disorders. Think about your good night out; most of us know to drink water before, during and after a party night. The alternative is a hangover because the excess alcohol has dehydrated your body. Why else do you get told to drink a glass of water when you have a headache?

How do you increase your water intake?

First and foremost, don’t start glugging down litres of water; you will run to the toilet and blame me for that and more importantly, you won’t maintain a good habit.

I advise patients to increase their water intake by one glass a day for the first week, by two glasses the next week and so on until you reach around 1.5 – 2 litres a day. By adapting this way, it is easier for you and your body. Having a glass of water by your side and sipping regularly rather than sinking a pint in one go means your body will be able to use the water you give it rather than it being flooded with water it just can’t absorb quickly enough.

The other drinks

Please be aware that tea and coffee are diuretics; they take water out of your body. You could be suffering dehydration without knowing it. I suggest one glass of water for every cup of tea or coffee you drink. If you have a tea or coffee habit i.e. more than 2 cups a day then you definitely need to drink more water. Replace one tea or coffee with one water until you get down to 2 per day.

I know that is a tough ask for many people, but often I am told how much more the 2 cups per day are enjoyed as opposed to the habitual drinking during the day where you don’t even notice what you are tasting.

Coffee and tea are stimulants and alter your body balance, especially when you add sugar to them! This is why I encourage you to limit them especially during menopause. Ensure that you drink enough water to compensate for the loss of water during your sweats. Likewise, be careful with fizzy drinks, smoothies and squashes they can all contain high levels of sugar.

When we exercise most of us take water, we know that when we sweat, we will dehydrate so always ensure you have that bottle of water by your side in the gym, when you are running or doing other exercise.

Other fluid losses

When we are ill through sickness, diarrhoea or heavy blood loss we loose vital body fluids and electrolytes, make sure you get some water inside you!

China is a homeopathic remedy that is excellent at addressing such situations it acts like rehydration solutions do encouraging the body to produce more electrolytes. This is a key remedy for your first aid kit.

Another remedy to consider is Nux Vomica which is a fabulous hangover cure dealing with the headache, upset stomach and the irritability! What more could you ask?

Finally, Coconut water it rehydrates the body quickly and effectively.

I believe that I have demonstrated the health benefits of water so please, drink more water, it’s good for you!