Hydration Health & Skin Benefits
In this article I will provide an overview of the importance of drinking water, why water is essential for our body to enable it to function normally, and why the lack of drinking water can manifest into dehydration, health and skin concerns, and how this can affect us physically.
I will provide tips that will help you meet the health guidelines on how to maintain hydration levels to promote good health.
Click link to read the full article ‘Nutrition & Hydration Week – Nutrition’.
Importance of Drinking Water
The average percentage of water in a person’s body is around 55% to 66%, infants at the higher end of the spectrum, and the elderly at the other end. Drinking water is essential for the health and survival of all age groups to keep the fluid levels replenished and maintain a healthy body.
Drinking water is an integral part of a healthy diet for many health reasons.
- Deliver essential nutrients, glucose, and oxygen to cells via the blood
- Aid the digestive system
- Prevent constipation
- Allow the kidneys to flush out toxins from the body
- Prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones
- Promote cellular hydration for organs to function well
- Keep joints lubricated
- Regulate body temperature
- Prevent skin dehydration and other dry skin related issues
- Aid regulation of fluid retention conditions, including cellulite
The importance of maintaining fluid levels in the body cannot be overstated. Even a short while without fluid intake will cause the body’s hydration levels to drop. First signs are thirst and dry mouth, then headaches, feelings of dizziness, tiredness, lethargy, and poor concentration.
This biological process is quite visible in plants. If you have ever forgotten to water your plants, they wilt and shrivel until you water again, after which the leaves will perk up. Over a prolonged period without water, the plant eventually becomes too dry and dies.
I am advocating the importance of drinking water to promote all of the bodily functions to work well.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and the last to receive the fluid intake through the body, thus dehydration can easily become apparent with visible signs of dry, scaly skin patches, and fine lines. It can aggravate pre-existing eczema and psoriasis skin conditions.
In my clinical practice when I treat clients, I explain the importance of drinking 1.5 to 2 litres of water to support to a healthier diet, which in turn will improve their health and skin condition. For those who follow these guidelines, we notice visible improvements – there are less acne related symptoms, less dryness, dehydration, and fine lines, which over a prolonged time without hydration do progress into wrinkles. Hydrating skin treatments support the hydration levels within the skin where needed.
It is particularly noticeable with the clients’ undertaking treatments for fluid retention and cellulite, greatly affecting the reduction of fluid and promoting improvement in skin conditions, thus improving overall appearance.
Our body needs water to flush out the nasties, very much like our loo needs water to flush out the biological waste. Imagine the consequences if you did not flush water down the loo, and how this could relate to the body.
Daily Recommendations to stay hydrated
The amount of water one should drink a day would all depend on age, whether you have been exercising, or living in a hot climate. The average amount for an adult to consume each day is 1.5 to 2 litres, approximately 8 glasses of fluid, children slightly less.
Are you dehydrated? The Hydration Test
A peak at your urine is a simple, affective way to assess whether your body needs more fluid. Urine of a pale straw colour indicates good hydration. On the contrary the darker the urine the more fluid the body needs to rehydrate. Any discomfort during urination is a sure sign to investigate further with a general health care practitioner.
Tap water or Bottled water?
I have dedicated time researching the pros and cons of tap water versus bottled water and still do not have a clear answer as to which is the best option. With the information I sourced, it appears to be a very personal choice.
UK Tap water is of the highest quality in the world. Water companies are obliged by law to comply with stringent standards, which ensure you can drink it on a daily basis without any harm. It is readily available, and easy to refill a handy bottle, therefore provides an ideal daily choice of water intake. However, I would take into consideration whether the water from the UK water source has to travel through lead pipes or limescale build up in your own pipes and taps before you drink it. Although usually fine to drink, it might be better to check this with your local water provider to be certain, and consider installing a water filter.
Water produced in bottles can be from varied plastic to glass containers. Some argue that the water from a plastic bottle contains more toxins. Another debate is the environmental damage caused by the plastic waste world-wide.
The resources are so debatable and ambiguous I advise to conduct your own research to make your own informed decision.
Hydration Top Up Tips
Most of the fluid we consume comes from drinks, and the rest can come from some fruits and vegetables. Include a variety of 5 types of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, the highest water content being from cucumber, courgettes, water melon.
Aim to drink 8 glasses of water per day. This will aid your digestive system to flush out toxins from the body, as well promote cellular hydration to improve your complexion for healthy, hydrated and glowing skin.
Add a splash of natural Low-GI botanical infusion for a tasty variation to the water, or infuse in fresh lemon, orange or cucumber.
Select your drinks carefully. Although they may claim to include vitamins and minerals, they might be high in sugar.
Avoid carbonated and sugary drinks.
Limit your intake of rich fatty milky drinks that make up the daily fluid requirements.
Limit fresh fruit juice to 150ml a day. This can count as part of your 5 a day rainbow diet. Although a healthier option, they’re really high on the spectrum of GI, and high levels of intake are related to dental and glucose issues.
Reduce caffeinated drinks such as breakfast tea, green tea, coffee and energy drinks. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, a process whereby it will rid your body of some water and nutrients. If consumed too often daily they can cause some dehydration in the body and of course the skin, so keep to a maximum of two servings per day. Avoid drinking in the evenings if you want to get to sleep.
Herbal infused teas should hold pride of place in your daily diet, as they are a healthy replacement for tea and coffee and there are so many varieties with an array of health and mood benefits. Here are a few suggestions; relaxing chamomile, sleep enhancing valerian, anti-spasmodic peppermint tea, detoxifying nettle tea, anti-cold lemon with ginger, and great tasting fruit varieties. Green tea has an array of health benefits for your body and brain and is high in antioxidants that can improve the health of the skin. But there is a caveat, it does contain caffeine.
Drink more water in the heat. This is an imperative as the body uses the internal resources to go to the skin surface to regulate the bodies temperature. Hence, they need to be replenished.
Drink more fluid when taking part in exercise in order to replenish the lost water caused by sweating.
Always keep some fluid with you to top up throughout the day.
Author: Angela Taffinder the founder of Emporium Treatment Clinic. A practising Aesthetician for 35+ years, holistic and wellbeing advocate and yoga instructor.
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