We need water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work correctly. Our bodies use water to maintain temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints.
The interesting thing is; that for something that is so critical for the effective functioning of our bodies, so many of us get it so wrong!
How much should we drink?
Your required fluid intake varies depending on your physiological requirement, your environment and your level of physical activity however on average, we should be consuming around two litres of fluid a day - and this should primarily be water.
You should drink more water if you:
- Breast feeding
- Work outside in the heat
- Exercise or have a physical job
REMEMBER: you can OVER-DRINK! So be realistic and logical with your fluid consumption. The issue with dumping fluid and drinking too much is that essentially, it stresses your bladder out as it never gets a break. Over time this can make your bladder irritated, potentially causing issues such as:
- Frequency (going to the toilet more often)
- Increased risk of stress or urge incontinence if you already have a pre-existing issue
Types of hydration
Believe it or not, you can alter the effectiveness of the body's ability to absorb water into cells to make way for improved functioning and health. We refer to two forms of hydration - bound and unbound.
- Bound Hydration = if we move our bodies immediately before and after drinking water, the cells absorb the water more effectively as tissues require water to function. To improve your 'bound' hydration go for a walk up the hallway and back or stand up and sit down then drink
- Unbound Hydration = If you sit still all day and drink, your body is hardly moving therefore the amount of water you consume isn't absorbed and utilised by the body as effectively
Tips to improve your water consumption
- Try filling a large water bottle at the start of the day so that you can gauge how much you have consumed throughout the day
- If you don't like the taste of water try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime or some fruit
- Freeze some fruit in ice cubes and throw them into your water
- Drink before and after eating a meal
- Drink water while having your morning cup of tea or coffee