A wee tale about dehydration and the myths and facts behind water consumption
With the impending warmer days of summer now on the horizon, we should all know fact from fiction when it comes to staying hydrated through higher temperatures and humidity.
We know you’ve heard us shout it out to you a million times: “You need to drink MORE water”. It is a fact though, aside from exercise the simplest thing you can do to help support your entire system is maintain adequate hydration.
FACT – When you’re not properly hydrated:
- You can’t get proper nutrients into your cells, creating achy joints and painful muscles
- Your mitochondria can’t produce the energy you need to heal and function
- You can’t make digestive enzymes or hormones (think constipation)
- Your neurons are less efficient at sending electrical signals to each other (brain fog).
So how can you better manage your water intake?
- Keep water close to hand throughout the day
It may seem like an obvious first step, but you’re more likely to drink enough water when it’s easily accessible to you. It’s an obvious ‘out of sight out of mind’ theory. If you see it in front of you as you’re watching TV, or doing a crossword you’re more likely to keep sipping.
- Infuse your water with fruit to add flavour and variety
If plain water is not to your taste, don’t worry, incorporating fresh fruit or opting to buy a naturally flavoured water can help add some excitement to your bottle and increase your water intake. Just make sure there is no sugar added.
- Snack on foods with a high water content
Something that’s helpful for water intake is eating a lot of foods that contain water naturally like oranges, watermelon, yogurt, cucumbers, lettuce or salad. Many of these fruits and vegetables are close to 100% water by weight, so incorporating them into your diet will provide you with both nutrients and an water boost.
- I hate having to get up and go to the toilet all the time, particularly at night.
We often hear this, but it is vital to maintain hydration each day in order to expel waste products efficiently. Start to drink water earlier in the day (before noon) and restrict fluid intake during the evening once you’re already hydrated, especially an hour or so before bedtime to prevent the need to urinate during the night. Try practicing “2 before 2pm” – 2 litres of fluid before 2pm allows enough time to flush through your system before bed.
- I drink plenty of tea and coffee – that counts right?
Short answer, NO! Caffeine, which is found in tea, coffee, cola and some other fizzy drinks, can irritate the bladder and so ideally should be avoided if possible. Excess tea and coffee can also have a diuretic and dehydrating effect.
Alcohol, particularly ‘long’ drinks such as beers and lagers, can make incontinence problems worse so try not to consume too much, especially if you don’t have easy access to a toilet.