Hydration: the wellness power of H2O
Why your body needs water to stay healthy and happy
Water and your physiology: Hydration decoded
Water is arguably the human body’s most vital elixir. The main component in our bodies, for us women it makes up 55% of our total weight. To put that into context it forms a large proportion of all our major organs (brain and heart 73%, lungs 83%, kidneys 79%). It’s also a major constituent in the fundamental structure of our bodies; our bones, (31%) blood (90%) and muscles (79%). Two thirds of the body’s total water is found in the intracellular fluid; that’s the fluid contained in cells.
Why is water so important?
Essentially, staying hydrated helps the body perform at its absolute best. Even mild dehydration can lower your energy levels. Hydration is key in regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, protecting tissues and eliminating waste and toxins. Add to that the fact that water transports nutrients and oxygen to cells and is the principal solvent for vitamins and minerals in the body and you can see that H2O packs a powerful wellness punch.
Symptoms and health implications of dehydration
Clinical studies have confirmed that even mild cases of dehydration, a loss of just 1-2% of your body’s water content, can result in early symptoms. These range from flushed skin, increased body temperature, premature fatigue, headaches, rapid breathing and pulse rate, decreased capacity for exercise to an increased perception of physical effort. And there’s also a notable link between dehydration and mental performance. Losing just 1% of your body weight in fluid impairs mental and cognitive function decreasing your concentration and productivity levels and even throwing your emotions off balance. As your body experiences higher levels of dehydration, between a 3-6% loss in water, symptoms can escalate to dizziness, weakness and breathing issues. If these levels elevate further serious dehydration can cause kidney, heart and urinary problems and lead to seizures and low blood pressure.
Electrolytes: an essential balance
Electrolytes are minerals found in the blood that help regulate and control the balance of fluids in the body. The three key electrolytes we need to stay healthy are sodium, potassium and magnesium. These are all lost when we exercise, sweat, vomit or experience diarrhea. Maintaining the right electrolyte balance is vital to help your body make effective use of the water you drink. That’s exactly why we include the optimum levels of all three key electrolytes in every Be Well mix. If you take regular exercise and in particular if you workout for more than an hour per session you need to make sure you are not only regularly hydrating but addressing your electrolyte balance.
Hydration: the right daily dose
So, how much water and fluids should we be drinking to positively impact our health everyday? The current recommendation is to consume 2 litres of fluids a day for women and 2.5 litres for men to replace normal levels of water lost through sweating, urinating and breathing. This should be divided between fluid ingested from both food and drink. Ideally, 80% should be water and non-alcoholic drinks and 20% from the foods we eat. Try to up your intake of water rich fruit and vegetables such as spinach, courgettes, cucumber, tomatoes and melon.