It’s very easy to forget to drink enough water. I’m the first to forget!
Because drinking water seems like such a simple thing, and it costs so little, we often overlook how powerful it is. I’m the first to spend lots of money on elaborate supplements, when actually sometimes it’s good to look at the simple things first.
The thing is, we think dehydration just amounts to a dry mouth or dry skin, but behind the scenes, there’s a whole lot more going on.
And the consequences can be devastating!
We hear often enough that our body is made up of 70% water (one big puddle, as someone put it recently!). The rest is made up of all the proteins,
minerals, and enzymes, the ‘solids’ that build our body and make it function.
So here’s fact number 1:
Water is like the solvent that these solids need to do their job.
Take for example chemicals produced in the brain. They need to be transported around the body (imagine a complex canal system). If the canals dry up
(or become boggy), these chemicals won’t be able to get around the body very effectively. So how does that translate into how we feel every day?
Fact number 2: Blood pressure
The body is very clever in ‘making do’ and soldiering on in every situation.
If water is rationed, then the body will automatically try to retain the water it’s got as much as it can. And this is exactly what it does by retaining sodium
in the blood! Long term, this is no good at all, as it can eventually lead to high blood pressure, as more and more sodium and water are retained in the
Fact number 3: Joint pain
Because our brain is at the top of the priority list in our body’s water rationing system, joints come way down the list… and yet, they need
good amounts of water to function. Cartilage depends on water for lubrication – lots of it! Imagine your joints rubbing away at dry
cartilage… that’s what happens when we don’t get enough water.
So there’s just 3 facts but there are so many more.
And the answer is easy: we all know it really:
We need to drink 8 glasses of water a day (at least 1.5 to 2l), sipped gradually (if we gulp it all down in one go, it will go straight
through, but won’t have time to be absorbed into our cells).
And it really does need to be pure water! Coffee, tea, juice, they’re all concentrated solutions that will not do much to get the canal system flowing.
PS: Here’s a little dehydration test for you: pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Does it go back immediately or does it leave a little tent shape? (sign of dehydration…)
Author: Angela Steel