In my previous two articles on skin and hair you will have noted the importance of water within our daily diets.
We are 70% water hence most functions require this cheap and thankfully, in Ireland, easily available substance. One of water’s key roles is the vital cleansing the body of toxins as generated through chemicals in our foods, stress, pollution and normal body functions. Our liver does the job of managing our toxic load with our lymphatic system – a great picture was described to me of the similarities between a dehydrated lymphatic system and a summer stream that is dry, sludgy, muddy and stagnant! If there is not enough water traveling through the body, toxins that need to be removed, stay within us causing further damage.
Headaches which are a common problem for many are primarily caused by dehydration so if you feel a headache coming on reach for a piece of juicy fruit and a large glass of water which should be drunk steadily until hopefully symptoms ease – let this be the first line of defence rather than a pill packet. Coffee which we will discuss further in later articles is also a demon for dehydrating our bodies as it is a diuretic (releases fluid from the body ie need to wee more!). A good tip is to always have a glass of water with your coffee to balance this water loss.
We need to be having 6-8 large glasses or 1.5-2 litres of good quality water a day. Don’t forget our 5-10 portions of fruit and vegetables also provide your body with good levels of water in the form that suits the body. The most effective way of knowing if your body is hydrated is by checking your urine; it should be colourless and odourless at all times, if it is other than that you need to take some water on board, if you check out the web for ‘urine colour charts’ it will give you a better pictorial.
Total Nutrition top tips;
• Drink 6-8 large glass of water or 1.5 – 2 litres a day.
• Eat 5-10 portions of fruit and vegetables.
• Keep tea and coffee to a minimum and explore green and herbal teas.
• Fizzy drinks do not replace water on a hydration level.
By Andrea Murray of Total Nutrition, BSc (Hons) Nutrition Therapy