A typical adult will have about 45 Litres of water in their body distributed in muscle, fat tissue, bones and teeth. Water has multiple functions in the body and is vital in key metabolic functions. Commonly though, many people may be poorly hydrated which can affect their health and wellbeing. Many health complaints will be stubborn to improve if hydration is low and critical functions such as wound healing and immunity may be compromised.
Being well hydrated will benefit your digestion, allow your brain to think faster and help your skin glow like you’re on the cover of glossy magazine. Water helps your body perform thousands of metabolic processes every hour, orchestrating a fascinating and complex array of chemical, hormonal and neurological messages, all silent and truly magical. Cells that are well hydrated communicate clearly and quickly with each other, activate enzyme pathways, uptake nutrients and remove wastes effectively.
In short, your entire body loves being bathed in nutrient-rich fluid. Sluggish bowel problems, skin conditions andevenfatiguecanbegreatlyimprovedbyensuringhydrationisoptimal. Recently a gentleman consulting me for nutritional help suffering hypertension saw a noticeable drop in his blood pressure after we diagnosed and treated his dehydration.
Despite this,poor hydration is often missed in many health assessments. So how do youk now if you are poorly hydrated?
To check your hydration pinch the skin on your sternum and then let it go. The more slowly it springs back into place the lower your hydration. Regular sweating will reduce total body stores of water and every cup of coffee takes two cups of water out of your body. Diets high in alcoho land salt will also be prone to poor hydration. In some people the urge for constant snacking is a misdirected cue that your body needs more water. It’s important to be aware of these factors.
So, how much should you be drinking?
In warm months and for adults who do moderate exercise then between 2.0lt and 3lt per day may be needed. Inthecoolermonthswhensoupsandstewsareonthemenu anywhere between 1.5lt - 2lts per day may suffice. Children, depending on age and activity levels need between 1⁄4 and 3⁄4 of adult portions. It is also worth considering that excess hydration can occur and lead to depletion of minerals in the body. If you have been suffering poor hydration then it may benefit asking your health provider about mineral repletion which can help you rehydrate your body quickly.
By Tim Howden
Paediatric & Family Naturopath