Are you drinking enough water?

Around 70% of your body and 85% of your brain is made of water!

Most of our blood consists of water and it’s important to be able to pump it around the body to deliver oxygen, hormones and nutrients to different areas. If we don’t have enough water, our blood vessels will have to work much harder to pump the blood around (as there will be a smaller volume of blood) and our blood pressure will increase.

Our brain will not work if we don’t have enough water, and we all know about the terrible dehydration headaches that can result when we don’t have enough. If the blood vessels leading to our brain are not carrying enough blood, they will not be able to deliver enough oxygen and we just will not cope!

Of course, this calculation is a guideline only and you will need to increase your intake if you’re exercising or it’s a really hot day and you’re sweating. You may think that you can cover your water intake through the consumption of other beverages, e.g. juice, fizzy drinks, tea and coffee. The reality is that most of these, especially the caffeinated ones, can actually dehydrate you by stripping water from the body. As well as this, many of these drinks are high in sugar and equate to unwanted “empty’ calories – calories provided to the body with little or no nutritional value.

If you find it difficult to take in the amount of water your body requires, try following these tips:

Increase your water intake gradually

Your body will not like going from no water to 3 litres per day! Try for an extra glass per day to what you would normally have (e.g. if you were having none, then starting drinking one). Do this for a week, and then add to it next week. Repeat until you are at your optimal daily intake. Setting small, realistic targets will ensure you are successful.

Add a pinch of natural sea salt (not iodised salt) to a litre of water

This can make the water easier to drink and can help maintain the balance of electrolytes in the cells and the water surrounding them. This can help with healing, reducing oxidation (ageing) and with maintaining a normal pH

Adding a squeeze of lemon to your water will also make it easier to drink

Most of us eat highly acidic diets and lemon juice can help to neutralise this acidity and make the body more alkaline

Note: Now that you know what a high percentage of your body is water, just be aware that if you do not flush out the old water that’s inside (by putting new, clean water into it), the water inside will become dirty and smellyó_ like a stagnant pond!

Originally published January 2014

Visit Elly’s holistic health and fitness website for more on how to live a balanced life.

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