- Why do we need to stay hydrated?
The body is mainly made up of water, and it needs water for survival… without it, our organs wouldn’t function properly. Hydration is necessary, helping the body maintain its regular temperature, helping to break down food, removing waste, acting as a lubricant for the joints, aiding in maintaining brain function, and a myriad of other things we tend to take for granted.
It is important to remember to drink throughout the day to avoid the risk of dehydration, especially when doing high intensity exercise. The body loses a lot of fluid as the day goes by, especially so during an intense workout session. Make sure to have a water bottle handy, and take sips from it when necessary.
Other people who are at a higher risk of dehydration are seniors, people who have a fever, are vomiting, or have diarrhoea, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The amount of water needed depends on the individual, however, a simple urine test is an easy way to tell if your body is dehydrated. If urine is clear or a pale yellow colour, the body is well-hydrated, but dark-coloured urine is an indication of dehydration. Other indicators are a dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and confusion. Should these symptoms arise, it is imperative that you drink water.
- How does skin benefit from hydration?
The skin is also an organ, and as such, it too requires adequate hydration to function properly. Dry or dehydrated skin doesn’t only look dull and lifeless, but it can also cause discomfort. It is important to remember that even oily skin can be dehydrated, which is why daily moisturisation should still be a priority.
Dehydrated skin can feel irritated or itchy, with pulling or tightening sensations. It can also be rough to the touch, and appear flaky.
Skin can become dehydrated for several reasons: genetics, the environment (sun, wind, air-conditioning), a hectic lifestyle, an irregular diet, excess alcohol, and even medication can all contribute to skin becoming dry or dehydrated.
Drinking water can have beneficial effects on dry or dehydrated skin, as can a complete skin care routine. To keep skin healthy, it is important to cleanse, tone, and moisturise on a daily basis.
- Sources of hydration
Hydration doesn’t only come from liquids – food is also an excellent source of hydration, especially certain fruits and veggies. Fill up your plate with some delicious seasonal vegetables, or snack on a piece of fruit for a great hydration boost. Iceberg lettuce, cucumber, celery, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, watermelon, melon, spinach, strawberries, grapefruit, and oranges… these are all foods high in water content.
It is still important to drink fluids as much as possible, and although water is usually the best option, you can also drink tea, coffee, flavoured water, fruit juice etc.