We all know that water is good for us. Start on any kind of health routine and the advice will include eliminating teas and coffees in favour of simple water. But have…
Dr Barbara Kubicka
Why is Water Good for You?
We all know that water is good for us. Start on any kind of health routine and the advice will include eliminating teas and coffees in favour of simple water.
But have you ever stopped to wonder why?
Water’s Role in the Body
Water is a key constituent of a healthy body, making up about two thirds of an adult’s body weight. It carries out a vital role carrying nutrients around the body within the blood and removing waste and toxins from our system. However, the body’s fluid resource is constantly depleting, as most of the chemical reactions taking place within the cells of the body need water in order to take place. In addition, water is regularly expelled through natural processes such as sweating and urination, both of which help to get rid of toxins.
Therefore to keep the body working as it is designed to do, our fluid needs regularly topping up through drinking.
How Much to Drink
The European Food Safety Authority recommends a daily intake of 1.6 litres for women and 2 litres for men. That’s the equivalent of about 8 or 10 glasses respectively. This figure needs to be adjusted for a person’s size and activity levels as well as increasing in warm weather.
However, very few of us manage to achieve even the minimum recommended levels.
The first sign of dehydration is simple - thirst. If you feel thirsty, your body is telling you that it is already dehydrated and it is important to drink as soon as possible to replenish the fluid levels.
Urine colour is also a good indication of hydration – it should be clear or light coloured – any mid means dehydration and require immediate action – i.e. have a drink – and dark coloured urine is a sign of severe dehydration and urgent attention.
Dehydration is quite a common cause of headaches and can also cause lethargy. Just 2% body water loss can cause impaired performance; at 4% capacity for muscular work declines; at 6%, heat exhaustion is a risk, at 8% hallucination and at 10% circulatory collapse and heat strokes. Prolonged dehydration can cause kidney problems and impair the body’s ability to heal itself.
However, it is equally important not to drink too much water, as the kidneys will not be able to keep up, so the blood becomes too dilute with lower concentrations of essential salt and minerals. In extreme cases of over-consumption, drinking too much water can be dangerous and even cause brain swelling, affecting vital functions and in rare cases, death.
The key is to listen to your body, drink to quench thirst. Once you get into the habit, it becomes easier!
Water and the Skin
Many patients visiting ClinicBe are already in a state of mild dehydration which is visible in the condition of their skin. Hydrating the skin is one of the first areas that the body cuts back on when fluids are in short supply. This makes the skin less elastic, less radiant, more prone to patches of dryness with more visible fine lines. It can also make it susceptible to outbreaks of acne.
Patients who routinely drink insufficiently can also find the pallor or colour of their skin is affected, which may be a consequence of constipation as the body’s regular functioning is imbalanced.
“The first and most important part of skin hydration starts by ensuring you drink enough. Skin doctors can quite often literally see in a patient’s skin if they have not had enough to drink as it looks and feels dryer and less healthy.
Water is best for a number of reasons and can be drunk hot if you need a warming drink. Otherwise, try warm cordials. Tea and coffee are actually counter-productive for hydration and are best avoided as much as possible.
We offer all our patients Kangen alkalised water in our clinic, which has a host of health benefits as well as hydration.
What to Drink
Water is widely considered to be the best fluid source. It is the most natural fluid and the most chemically simple – H2O – and far better for the body than caffeinated, sugary, chemical laden or alcoholic drinks.
However, not all waters are the same.
If nothing else is available, then tap water is the best option – certainly better than fizzy or caffeinated drinks. It is free and readily available. However, be aware that it is not ‘pure’. According to the Environmental Working Group, there have been 315 pollutants found in America’s tap water since 2004, and over half of these pollutants are completely unregulated and can legally exist in any amount.
Bottled water is another option, but is not guaranteed to be any healthier for the additional cost.
Kangen Alkalised Water
Dr Kubicka favours Kangen Alkalised water, which is filtered and also ionized.
Firstly, it tastes better and being more palatable is easier for patients to consume in the correct quantities. The purity of the water means that it is readily absorbed by the body without the ‘bloated’ feeling that can accompany drinking lots of bottled or tap water.
In addition, the ionisation of alkaline water has been shown to be an anti-oxidant free radical scavenger, so supports the health of the body’s organs and helps to flush out toxins and waste products.
The alkalised water has been reported to help with a wide range of skin conditions, digestive conditions and more; as once the machine is fitted, it will supply water at the required PH level for the household’s drinking, cooking and bathing requirements.
To put this into context, it is advised to drink at least 2 glasses of water to flush out the toxins in just one cup of coffee, 17 to flush out a glass of sparkling water and 32 to neutralise the toxins in a can of coke.
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