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Water, Water everywhere..

Water, Water everywhere..

The Importance of Hydration.

When searching the universe for planets that might support extra terrestrial beings (be they microbes or little green men) scientists are looking for evidence of water, because water is the essential element that sustains life.

The human body is composed of roughly 60% water and it is vital to our existence for many reasons: -

• It is the main component in building cells.
• It regulates our body temperature through perspiration and respiration.
• It acts as a shock absorber and insulator, protecting our brains, organs, muscles and joints.
• It helps us metabolise food through the action of enzymes in saliva and fluids in the digestive system.
• It flushes waste and toxins from the body through the colon and kidneys.

Why keeping well hydrated is such an important part of keeping healthy – a few factoids.

• Healthy people need between 1.5 and 2 litres of water per day – about 8 glasses.

• Tea and coffee previously had a reputation for having a diuretic effect but this has now been largely discounted, and they can count as part of your fluid intake. We also get much of our liquid intake from our food. However, plain water is the best thing to keep you well hydrated.

• Keeping hydrated, especially when exercising and playing sports or in hot weather, is vitally important. When you’re sweating a lot, you need to replenish the lost fluid with water.

• Athletes doing very intense exercise for a long period may need to replace electrolytes (mineral salts) along with water to prevent muscle cramps– that’s where sports drinks come in.

• Drinking water, combined with a healthy diet, can aid weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism. If you have a glass of water half an hour before eating, you are also likely to consume fewer calories.

• Drinking plenty of water can prevent health problems like constipation and kidney stones.

• If you’re thirsty, it means that you are already dehydrated. If your urine is darker than a pale straw colour, it’s a sign that you really aren’t drinking enough on a daily basis.

• Chronic dehydration can cause high blood pressure by making the body hold onto sodium.

• Dehydration can cause headaches and impair brain function. It can also negatively affect your physical endurance and increase fatigue if you are taking part in sporting activities.

So drink up, but make sure it’s Adam’s Ale (i.e. water) – although (let’s whisper it) taking in water between alcoholic drinks can minimise a hangover!

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