Dehydration can have a significant effect on our health, causing our organs to not work efficiently. You may be dehydrated, even if you don’t think you are. When we feel fatigued, the majority of us reach for that stimulant such as coffee. We never stop to think, wait how much water have I drunk today?
On average, the recommended intake is to have 8 large glasses of water per day (this does not include any other drinks such as tea). We continually loose fluid in our body through skin evaporation, urine, breathing as well as our stools. It is essential for our health that we replace the fluids we have lost daily as our bodies are actually composed of 60-70% water. Not only that, water helps to flush out any toxins from our system. Try and keep a bottle of water with you in your car, desk or bag and have it on hand at all times.
TIP: First thing in the morning, before you do anything else, consume a large glass of water. This is one of the best things you can do right after you wake up as it fires up your metabolism, provides your brain will fuel, helps flush out toxins and hydrates you!
No one will ever say to you that alcohol is a beauty booster. Alcohol is a hepatoxin, meaning it damages your liver significantly. It effects our body in numerous ways, some we are not even fully aware of. It is dehydrating, depletes essential nutrients and can lead to:
– Cancers of the mouth, throat and breast
– Heart disease
– Liver disease
– Brain damage
– Damage to the nervous system
The effects of alcohol on our health will be dependent on the amount you consume; however, my advice if you do not want to remove it from your lifestyle, is to limit your intake as much as possible. Moderation should be considered and binge drinking is not advised. Do not go over the recommended amount of 14 units a week (a 750ml of red wine 13.5% counts as 10 units).
If you love coffee (like I do!) then I am not here to tell you to stop drinking it. There is no definitive answer to whether coffee is good or bad for you but it has actually been linked to a considerable amount of health benefits due to its apparent high content of antioxidants. However, consuming excessive caffeine can result in fatigue, headaches, disrupted sleep and increased anxiety. Caffeine also has a dehydrating effect, so each time you reach for that coffee, make sure to consume a glass of water straight after. If you are a big coffee lover, have it in moderation (no more than 2x cups a day) and to not drink it after 4pm.
Water is the most obvious source of hydration but surprisingly there are also particular foods that you can incorporate into your diet for that extra hydrating boost.
Contain mostly water, as well as plenty of other nutrients that hydrate and support the body. They contain vitamin C and caffeic acid – both of which help to soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling (often why they are used for swollen eyes!) A great way to use them is in salads, smoothies or add a few slices into your water for optimal hydration.
One of the most hydrating foods, watermelon is actually a very nutrient dense food which provides essential nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. Try making a home-made watermelon juice, add it into salads and chop into slices for a refreshing snack.
This leafy green contains 94% water. Although iceberg lettuce contains the highest water content (>95%), romaine lettuce provides better nutrients in terms of folic acid, vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Colourful bell peppers contain 92% water as well as being rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, carotenoids (they contain over 30 different members of the carotenoid family) and folic acid as well as beneficial antioxidants – they will help to make your skin glow!