Water For Wellness

Good old water is often taken for granted and overlooked in the realm of health and wellness.  According to the National Library of Medicine a huge 75% of us are dehydrated and that is a problem as water is the foundation of your ability to live optimally.

Depending on things like age, BMI, location and sex the average human is between 55-60% water.

Water works to cushion and lubricate joints, regulate temperature and nourish the brain and spinal cord.  Water is not only in our blood but in our organs too. Did you know your brain and heart are 73% water, lungs 83% and bones 31%!

Each day we lose between 2 to 3L a day from our sweat, our urine and our bowel movements and even breathing so we need to compensate for the fluid loss.

At the first instance of low water levels sensory receptors in the thalamus signal the release of anti-diuretic hormone which reaches the kidneys and creates special channels called aquaporins that enable blood to absorb and retain more water.  Leading to concentrated and dark urine, dehydration causes noticeable drops in energy, mood, skin moisture and blood pressure as well as signs of cognitive impairment.  A dehydrated brain works harder to accomplish the same amount as a normal brain and it even temporarily shrinks due to lack of water.

Overhydration or hyponatraemia - is usually due to over-consumption of water in a short amount of time.  Athletes can be a victim of this due to complications in regulating water levels in extreme physical conditions.  Whereas the dehydrated brain amps up ADH the overhydrated brain slows or stops its release into the blood.  Sodium electrolytes become diluted causing cells to swell and in extreme cases the kidneys can’t keep up with the large volumes of dilute urine = water intoxication.

Conventional wisdom used to say 8 glasses a day but now the advice is dependent on our weight and the environment 2.5L to 3.7L for men and 2L to 2.7L for women, a range that is pushed up or down depending on our health, age,activity level, or overheating - divide your weight in kg by 30 for a good guide for the amount.

Water in food makes up approximately 1/5th of our daily intake - fruits like strawberries and veg like cucumber are up to 90% water and are great to supplement our water intake as well as increasing valuable nutrients and fibre.

Studies have also shown that optimal hydration can lower the chance of stroke, help manage diabetes and potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers.

The right amount of water will make a difference in how you think, feel and function day by day.

  1. Boosts your energy
  2. Protects you - moistens eyes, regulates temperature, lubricates joints
  3. Boosts brain health - improves concentration and mood, reduces anxiety, inncreases memory and cognitive performance
  4. Helps keep you full for longer and dehydration can often be confused for hunger so by keeping hydrated you will know when you are truly hungry
  5. Helps eliminate waste via urine and easing bowel movements

Now it can be hard in the hot weather and when we are busy to keep hydrated but with some simple habits it can make a massive difference

When you wake in the morning rehydrate with a pint of water and add in a cup of warm water with lemon juice or lemon essential oil for extra zing.  Before going to work drink ½ litre of water and any time you are waiting for phone call to be answered or a website to load take some sips of water. On your break aim to take another 500mls before you start to eat this will help you feel full too. And finish off your working day with another 500ml before you head home.  Don't forget to have a drink before bed too - if peeing is an issue over night have your last drink about an hour before bed.

Feeling tired?  Instead of grabbing a coffee take a long cool drink of water as being dehydrated can make you feel tired and instead of a caffeine hit try a water hit instead. 

For an extra special soft drink try this Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Puree
2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup sugar, plant syrup or honey
1 cup water
Sparkling water
Fresh Limes
Lime Essential Oil
Ice if desired
1) In a small saucepan, combine puree ingredients.
2) Cook until sugar has dissolved.
3) Cool and strain.
4) To serve, add raspberry puree (around two tablespoons), ice, juice of one lime, and one to two drops Lime essential oil to a glass. Top with sparkling water.
5) Garnish with limes and raspberries.

Want to get more recipes?  Join My Healthful Hacks For Everyday Life Group on FB

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Information given here is not intended as a substitute for medical or veterinary consultation - the author has no liability nor responsibility with respect to any issues occurring out of use such as damage, loss, injury.

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