The Importance of Hydration
We all know drinking water is a simple yet vital part of maintaining good health. The benefits of staying hydrated are numerous ranging from improved brain power, more energy, and clearer skin. Yet it's still something so many of us don't get enough of.
Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
Why do you need to stay hydrated?
Water makes up roughly 60% of our body weight. Without water, we can only survive for a few days. It is absolutely essential for the life and function of every cell in your body. It is safe to say that water is the most important nutrient!
What is the role of water in the body?
- Our bodies are made up of 60% water; the brain is 85% water, and extremely sensitive to dehydration.
- Water provides structure to the body cells and creates a ‘sticky’ layer of ‘structured water' around the cells forming a protective layer around the cell membrane.
- Water is an important nutrient, forming the raw materials for hydrolysis: the breaking down of molecules by dissolving in water; for example, proteins are hydrolysed into their component amino acids through the interaction with water.
- Water provides a vital ingredient for metabolism.
- Water is the transport vehicle for blood cells. Blood is 94% water!
- Water dissolves and transports nutrients around the body.
- Water dissolves and transports toxins away from the cells and organs for elimination.
What is dehydration?
Water is required for your body to function properly - every cell in your body needs water, and if the fluid intake is not sufficient to maintain body functions efficiently, it means that the body is in a state of dehydration. Water deprivation and dehydration can lead to:
- low energy levels
- reduced physical activity
- reduced cognitive function (trouble remembering things, concentrating, making decisions, or learning new things)
- mood swings and irritability
- high heart rate and low blood pressure at the same time
- dull and tired looking skin (because your skin contains approximately 30% water, which improves its elasticity, plumpness, and resilience)
We tend to ignore signs of dehydration and drink less water as we age. Some studies show that young individuals consume nearly twice as much fluid as older people.
What happens if you get dehydrated?
Your well-being and health depend on good hydration. Research demonstrates that a low water intake (or even a mild dehydration) is associated with the risk of various chronic diseases and cognitive abilities. We tend to drink less water with age which is linked with higher risk of dehydration and associated morbidities.
What are the sources of water in our diets?
Water is found in all fluids in your diet, including drinking water, water in food, and other fluids you intake. To some extent, all foods contain water; for example, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) states that up to 30% of daily water intake in the daily diet comes from food. The percentage of water in the diet changes with the proportion of fruits and vegetables.
Is Functional Water good for you?
Combining vitamins and water to create a simple healthy, fruity tonic is genius! Functional Water offers a cold beverage alternative to flavourless water and sugary fizzy drinks. These delicious, enriched alternatives are not only refreshing but they are a good source of your daily essential nutrients.
The PRESS Water + Blue Spirulina contains spirulina; a special type of blue-green algae and has been named the 'food of the future' as it's a good source of protein, B vitamins and iron. B vitamins play a role in relieving stress, boosting cognitive performance, and reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety. Not only does staying hydrated lift you up and give you energy but iron does too! Iron carries oxygen to the muscles and brain, crucial for physical performance, low levels of iron are associated with reduced stamina, irritability, and lack of focus.
The PRESS Water + Pro-Biotics in strawberry & dragon fruit will not only keep you hydrated but will positively impact your gut health. Containing the friendly bacteria, Bacillus Coagulans, this delicious water can help improve your quality of life by decreasing bloating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and frequency of bowel movements in people with IBS.
Another gut friendly hydrator is the PRESS Water + Activated Charcoal which can help with digestion. Due to activated charcoal’s ability to absorb gases, it can help reduce flatulence and bloating. It can be taken before to reduce the amount of gas or as a remedial remedy. It also binds to toxins such as poisons, bacteria or other unwanted products found in the gut and therefore helps with digestion.
How much water should you be drinking?
We should drink about 2 litres of fluid every day to prevent us from getting dehydrated. When we are in hotter climates (for example, on a beach holiday or the height of summer), the body needs more as you lose water through sweat. Your physical activity will also impact your required intake (you will need more if you are more physically active). Diet and caffeine intake will also impact how much water you will need, salty foods and caffeine can cause dehydration.
Tips on how to drink more water!
- Make your water more fun! Try to add fresh fruit and herbs to your water. Experiment with lemon, grapefruit, strawberries, cucumber, ginger, mint, basil, rosemary or lavender.
- Keep water within an easy reach
- Set a goal for the day
- Keep a bottle of water with you at all times
- Choose sparkling or mineral water over fizzy drinks
- Eat water-rich foods: watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, soups
- Drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol or caffeinated drink
- Use a marked water bottle with hourly targets
- Set a timer on your phone
- Use apps to track your water consumption
Getting hydrated is the biggest single thing you can do to improve your overall health and energy levels. It will boost your mental clarity, joints and improve the appearance of your skin.
The range of PRESS Functional Water drinks are a blend of refreshing, zingy lemon water, with the additional health benefits of gut-supporting Probiotics, Iron-rich Spirulina and Detoxifying activated Charcoal. Low in calories but packed with nutrients; they're the perfect thirst quencher!
Anna Garner-Currie, Nutritionist