Water – An Overlooked Essential Nutrient!
Whenever we consider the nutrients that our body requires to function, we normally automatically think about all the different food types that we can eat in order to keep us from feeling hungry, fuel our daily activities and assist in the growth of our muscles.
Yet there is one thing that our bodies cannot do without and that is simple water and is often an over looked essential nutrient that we really do need to make sure we drink enough of each and every single day.
Why do we need water?
Our bodies are made up of bones, muscles, fibres and nerves but do you realise that water actually makes up about two thirds of our total body composition.
Water is vital for us just to exist as it is used in so many of our normal daily functions from circulation and aiding the transportation of nutrients throughout our bodies, to the creation of saliva in our mouths and maintaining the correct body temperature.
Our bodies are constantly loosing water as we expel it when we breathe out, lose it through our skin when we perspire and our kidneys use it to be able to function properly so that we can pass urine and get rid of nasty toxins from our system.
We also require water to aid our body’s digestive system and consuming enough can not only help us become regular in our bowel movements, but also aid in the prevention of constipation.
Water is also vital for healthy skin, hair and nails and can help delay the effects of ageing on our skin by delivering essential nutrients to our cells. Drinking enough water will not only flush out the bodies toxins and impurities but can also help replenish the natural elasticity of our skin tissue.
Therefore it can help combat those tell tale wrinkles and fine lines that appear around our eyes and mouth and give you a healthy glowing complexion. Getting enough water on a regular basis is a lot better way of caring for our skin than paying huge amounts of money for all those ‘re-hydrating’ skin creams.
How much do we need?
It is essential they we drink enough water in order to replenish our systems and prevent dehydration and should make it a habit of constantly sipping it throughout the day rather than waiting until we are incredibly thirsty.
Do you realise that if you don’t get enough water your body can actually go into ‘survival mode’ and starts storing what supplies you have, which can then result in water retention and swollen legs, feet or hands.
There are several different theories on how much water the average person needs in order to function efficiently. Generally though as women we should have at least one and a half to two litres of water a day, more so if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, live in a hot dry climate or participate in physical activity.
If you are exercising regularly you will normally lose a lot more water as your body temperature will rise and you generally sweat a lot more.
If you are using you major muscle groups then you need water to help replenish these muscles and also aid their recovery. So it is essential that you make sure you also regularly refill your body’s water supply before, during and after your workouts.
Tiredness and general fatigue
Dehydration can play a major part in fatigue and you can check if you are drinking enough water by looking at the colour of your urine throughout the day, to make sure it is light coloured.
If you regularly feel tired and sleepy at some point throughout the day then often a simple large glass of ice cold water can be the ‘magic cure’ as it can not only help fight that fatigue but make you more alert.
Studies have also shown that it can help get rid of nagging headaches and even migraines in certain cases if drunk constantly at regular intervals.
Consuming thirst quenching liquid is also a great way to give yourself a natural boost that can improve your mood, concentration level and also help you focus better on the task at hand.
We often mistake the feeling that our body is in dire need of water for that of hunger or cravings for all the wrong food choices, so reach for a candy bar rather than that much needed glass of H20.
It has been shown that if you drink a glass of water before a meal you will actually eat less food at that meal time.
Also getting enough water throughout the day can help curb your snacking tendencies and naturally help boost our metabolism, therefore aid in faster weight loss results for those on a diet.
So instead of grabbing a sweet sugary drink that will cause your blood sugar to spike and then dip again later on – why not grab a bottle of re-hydrating water. I live in a hot climate and also only like cold water, so have constantly got a bottle of water in a ‘water cooler’ attached to my side.
Constantly drinking plain water can get a little bit boring, so often in the afternoons I will add some low sugar cordial to it, so as to have a nice tasting refreshing beverage.
Another perfect alternative to plain water is fizzy soda water with ice and lime as it still has no calories but is both thirst quenching and refreshing.