Water - why do I need it?

May 4, 2017

Water is more important for your body’s survival than food. You can live without water for up to a week, but you can survive without food for more than a month.

Over half our body is water which we lose as urine, sweat and through breathing. It plays a vital part in keeping the body systems balances and working  properly.

 

women are 45-60% water and men 50-65% water

 

lean muscle mass has around 75% of the water and body fat around 25%

 

 

 

How does the body use water?

The body uses water for most of our body functions:

  • aiding digestion

  • regulating body temperature

  • keeping our muscles elastic

  • lubricating your joints

  • keeping your sight clear

  • blood – transporting nutrients around the body

  • lymphatic system – removing waste product

  • keeping our skin supple and moisturised

  • improving concentration

 

Too much water

Our kidneys need us to drink water to filter the waste products and excess fluid from our blood. If we drink too much too quickly the blood becomes too diluted and our salt levels go down. The kidneys will try to keep the right balance of salt in the blood which means they will be overworked. This will cause us to urinate more and lead to tiredness and possible nausea.

 

Generally, only people such as endurance athletes may have concerns with drinking too much in a short period of time. The warning signs can be seen within a couple of hours depending on your health, environment etc.. and early signs include light headedness, dizziness, nausea, puffiness, weight gain during a physical activity and your urine may become clear.

 

Too little water

 

Lack of water, or dehydration, reduces the amount of blood in your body, forcing your heart to pump harder. Early stages of dehydration causes dizziness, irritability and headaches. As dehydration progresses, you become clumsy and exhausted; your eyesight fades. In the later stages of dehydration, you may feel nauseous and begin vomiting.

 

Early signs of dehydration can be seen within 12 hours of not been hydrated and your urine may become darker in colour. The body cannot last more than 3 or 4 days without you becoming seriously ill.

 

Just enough water

 

Sources of water can be taken from food and drinks such as: tap or bottled water, milk, fruit juices, vegetables, salad, fruit and soup. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol also provide water for the body but should not be used as a major source.

 

As a general rule it is better to sip fluid every hour through the day rather than drinking a pint morning, noon and night. This amount amount keeps you hydrated throughout the day and allows the kidneys to work more efficiently. Having a small glass (330ml/half pint) by you or a bottle with a sports top is a good way to ensure you don’t drink too much at a time.

 

You can get an idea if you are drinking enough water by checking the colour of your urine which should be a pale straw colour. If it is darker you may need to drink more and if it is clearer you may need to drink less. Your diet, health and medication may also affect the colour of your urine.

 

The pot plant check

Think of your body as a pot plant which needs just the right amount of water to keep healthy...

 

You have a very dry pot plant

 

If you pour a small glass (330ml) of water over it then the water is likely to just run through and out the bottom of the pot.

 

If you drip feed a small glass of water (330ml) over it then the plant will slowly absorb it and very little running out the bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

You have a wet pot plant

 

If you pour a small glass (330ml) of water over it then the water is likely to just run through and out the bottom of the pot.

 

If you drip feed a small glass of water (330ml) of water over it then the plant will slowly absorb it and very little will run out the bottom.

 

 

 

 

Contact me for more information

 

 

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