How to Focus and Feel Fab
Why you need more than water to hydrate
Hydration may be front of mind in summer, yet it’s crucial all year round. Dehydration affects you faster than you may think, and is implicated in countless chronic and painful health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, IBS, food intolerances, auto-immune diseases and even cancer.
There’s more to it than sticking to water as your source of hydration too. What you eat has a significant impact on your body’s ability to remain hydrated enough to perform all the functions that contribute to your wellbeing, healing capacity and susceptibility to injuries and inflammatory conditions.
Dehydration is caused by simply not drinking enough fluid or by losing more fluid than you take in. Climate of course plays a large part in this as well as physical activity and diet.
If you get dehydrated, a dry mouth may be the first thing you notice, but by that stage, all kinds of other issues will probably be building up in your body.
- Your muscles, ligaments and cartilage get stiffer and less supple so they might strain more easily – in other words, you will be more prone to injuries. This applies to the discs and joints along the spine too.
- You will be denying yourself proper lubrication within the joints for optimal shock absorption and smooth movement of bone on bone, so you are setting yourself up for irritation and inflammation.
- Headaches could be a problem, given that your brain depends on good hydration to function well.
As all of your body’s tissues are so dependent on proper hydration, the more hydrated you are, the quicker and better you heal. This also applies to your nervous system.
Conversely, dehydration significantly affects your overall wellbeing. It severely limits the ability to concentrate and work, even if you’re just a little bit dehydrated.
Our body’s water content is approximately 60% and it has been shown that as little as 2% fluid loss can affect your memory, mood, concentration and reaction time.
Water transports oxygen around your body to all its tissues as well as clearing out all of the toxins and waste products from our cells. When those functions aren’t working optimally, you become more susceptible to longer term health conditions taking hold.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that your brain and heart contain 73% water, and your lungs have about 83% water. Your skin contains 64%, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even your bones are surprisingly watery at 31%.
Every cell in your body depends on you drinking enough water. By the time you notice that you’re thirsty, it’s too late, your cells are already dehydrated.
Understanding all of the health and healing benefits of remaining hydrated should make it easier for you to prioritise drinking 2-3 litres a day.
Food and hydration
Your gut needs water to absorb and assimilate nutrients from what you’re eating, and it absorbs water that’s contained within your food.
Our body has a natural pH level and functions best when it is alkaline. The acidity or alkalinity of what you consume is also important as most lifestyle and health issues arise from your gut being in an acidic state. Viruses and bacteria do not flourish in an alkaline environment. So being properly hydrated supports your body’s ability to maintain a healthy state of alkalinity.
Acidity shuts off gut function, stops your body absorbing nutrients, and affects repair mechanisms.
An acidic gut is implicated in inflammation, which is the root cause of countless chronic and painful health conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, IBS, food intolerances, auto-immune diseases and even cancer.
People who are on anti-cancer diets are actually just on alkaline eating plans because cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Patients are encouraged to get their systems as alkaline as possible, so it shows how important alkalinity is for your cells to function, divide, grow and heal.
Another direct reflection of your gut function is your skin health. Spots, rashes, eczema…anything that shows up on your skin indicates the health of your gut.
Fatigue, feeling stressed, run down and hormones being out of whack can also be signs that your system is struggling.
When your body is run down and struggling to heal, it generally puts a strain on your nervous system. When this is compromised it will be more susceptible to certain injuries, inflammatory conditions and irritations.
See the chart below to find out which foods are acid and alkaline.
What to drink and what to avoid?
It’s important to remember that tea, coffee and sugary or fizzy drinks don’t count towards keeping you hydrated. In fact, they make it worse.
Tea and coffee are diuretics, meaning that they make you pass more fluid than you’ve just drunk. If you’re going to drink coffee, compensate by drinking as much water as you can alongside it. In addition, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks are acidic.
Drinking water is the best way to hydrate, ideally with a mineral water which has sodium and magnesium. Magnesium plays a part in more the 800 tasks in your body such as gut and muscle function, including the muscles lining the digestive tract.
Some of the benefits of water include:
- Flushing out wastes
- Transporting nutrients
- Regulating body temperature
- Maintaining an acid-alkaline balance
- Supporting chemical processes
- Regulating appetite
- Keeping skin moist
- Keeping energy levels up
- Alleviating some headaches
So next time you need to have a wee in clinic, remember to check our poster in the toilet, it’s an easy way to check your hydration level.
With all this talk about hydration, how could we possibly resist the TikTok refreshing challenge? Enjoy the video of Tara!
Testimonial of the month
“I first visited this clinic around 10 years ago and literally “crawled on all fours” into the surgery. During the last 10 years Jason has been able to make me “walk tall” again and now regularly go back for maintenance checks, each time coming out with a “spring in my step”. Without Jason I would probably be in a wheelchair by now so a big “thank you” to Jason and all of his marvellous, helpful and friendly staff for all of their hard work. Can only highly recommend Chislehurst Chiropractic Clinic..”
If this article hasn’t spurred you to fetch a glass of water, now is the time to do it! We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer weather, and stay hydrated at all times.
If you know someone who could benefit from this blog post, please share it with them. We offer a complimentary spine check to anyone who is interested in how chiropractic may be able to help them. You can book this online, or by calling 02082951733.
Filed Under: Health Tips
Tags: health and wellness tips, hydration
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