I don’t know about you but when I see the latest hype about what food is good for us and what is not, I often think – hang on a minute – what about the most important thing of all – WATER, writes Uckfield News Fabulous Food blogger Beverley Butler.
With the weather being as hot as it is at the moment it is vital for our bodies that we drink more water, but it is also equally important in winter and at all times of year.
By weight, an average human male adult is made up of approximately 65% water and the body needs topping up to that level everyday. This figure will obviously vary according to age, gender, and health but it always worth remembering the importance of water and the benefits of hydration.
Without getting too technical here are some very important points to remember:
Brain power: It is a proven fact that children who drink more water during the day in schools have better levels of concentration and the ability to absorb knowledge at a higher rate. Water helps the blood flow to the brain and keeps it topped up providing oxygen and energy.
Increased energy: Keeping our bodies hydrated helps support the muscles and provides an increase in energy levels.
Keeps us happy: Serotonin is a ‘happy chemical’ within our bodies which is helped by drinking more water – apparently one glass of water can raise your serotonin levels more than a piece of chocolate.
Helps ward off germs: Drinking more water improves blood flow throughout the body which enables white blood cells to kill off germs more efficiently, therefore helping the immune system fight illness.
Aids digestion: Keeping our bodies hydrated distributes nutrients and prevents constipation and enables the kidneys to function effectively to rid toxins.
Helps weight loss: Our bodies can often misread signs of thirst and hunger. If the hunger pangs start it may be liquid you need – not food. Try drinking a glass of water if you think you feel hungry, it may satisfy your needs.
Obese people who stay hydrated may see an increase in their metabolism rate by as much as 24% which will enable them to loose weight.
Try drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before eating a meal – it will reduce your appetite and therefore you will consume less calories during your meal.
Reduces risk of kidney/gall stones: I have never experienced either but I understand they can be excruciatingly painful. By keeping our bodies hydrated the risk is reduced. It is believed that hydration can also be a factor in reducing bowel, bladder and possibly breast cancer.
Skin, hair and nails: Increasing our levels of water can have surprising effects on our skin, hair and nails. Why pay for expensive anti-wrinkle creams and potions when the natural source is readily available.
Aids vitamin absorption: Vitamins and minerals are an important part of our daily intake but with better hydration they are absorbed much easier. This is why on the side of most vitamin/medication bottles it will suggest taking the tablets with water.
Temperature adjustment: Drinking water is essential to keeping our body temperature at an even level. Always drink water at room temperature and not cold, otherwise it takes so much of our bodies energy to warm the water to digest it comfortably.
Alcohol balancing: Having a glass of wine to accompany a meal is often very relaxing, but always remember to match a glass of wine to a glass of water. That way you will stay hydrated and not have a headache the following morning! The same applies to tea and coffee.
Drinking enough: There seems to be a general rule that drinking two litres of water a day is healthy, but the general rule is, if you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrating! Top it up slowly by sipping water on a regular basis. Take a bottle of water with you at all times.
Becoming dehydrated, especially in this weather, can cause fainting, headaches, backaches (kidney area) and many other symptoms. Increasing fruit and vegetables levels can also help as many contain a high water content.
Especially important in this weather – STAY HYDRATED!