Why is hydration important?

Getting adequate fluid intake can at first seem like a bore. Why do we need to drink 8 classes of water a day? Surely it doesn’t have to be purely just plain water?

OK so lets look at some interesting facts about water in the body:

  • The human body is approximately 60% water
  • Blood is around 92% water
  • Muscles and the brain consist of around 75% water
  • Water helps to regulate body temperature – you sweat to cool your body
  • Adequate hydration helps to maintain healthy bladder and bowel function
  • Collagen in the body is made up of around 70% water – essential for muscle healing
  • Fluid intake can be 70- 80% from fluid and the remaining 30-20% from foods
  • Water helps with the transportation of nutrients around the body
  • Water is needed to help absorb Vitamins B and C
  • It helps to lubricate the joints – assisting in shock absorption

So we can conclude that being hydrated is important. But how do we go about it without it being a chore?

Last year, whilst being pregnant with my second son, I started getting a lot of headaches. After chatting with my consultant, we agreed it was probably nothing more than not drinking enough. I must admit I’m not a great one for drinking – especially at home – and when I do I’m more likely to have a cup of tea than a glass of water!

I found downloading a free app to track my fluid intake really helped. Also aiming to swap my morning brew for a herbal. Keeping a glass on the kitchen side also helped to remind me I need to drink more. Whilst out and about I made a point of taking a bottle water with me, pre-chilled!

Fluid intake doesn’t just have to come from water either, as mentioned herbal teas, squash, smoothies. In fact, tea and coffee can also count! Then there is food – fruit and vegetables also contain water, with cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon and spinach being just some of the choices. Even soups and broths could count towards your fluid intake!

Try not to drink large amounts in one go though, your body can’t absorb too much in one go and will end up passing it out as urine. The opposite applies to exercise, heat and sweat. When you sweat, your body is trying to keep your core temperature stable, sweating also releases salt and potassium. Its important to replace this loss of fluid and salts by rehydrating.

So there you go! Aim to drink roughly 8 glasses of fluid a day, the rest will come from aiming towards your 5 a day! Sip throughout the day and avoid drinking too close to bed time to avoid night time trips!

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