Why drink water? Your hydration health
Water is vital to your wellbeing as staying adequately hydrated is important for both health and body.
At first glance, this clear liquid doesn't seem to contribute much to your health. After all, bottled and tap water have no vitamins, no fibre, no protein and no carbohydrates - so what does water really do for us?
"Water is needed for every cell in your body," says nutritionist Dr Barbara Levine. That's because the chemical reactions that happen in your body need hydration with a watery environment. Among its many tasks, water helps your body maintain its optimal temperature. It also helps your body digest food, convert it to energy, get rid of waste and avoid constipation all of which are essential for good health. Encouraging children to drink water from a young age is vital to help them understand the benefits of hydrating early.
Effects of dehydration
If you (or your child) are not properly hydrated, there is a likelihood to suffer from dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as headache and fatigue. Dehydration over time can cause damage to your health and body, so it's best to keep a bottle of water in your bag for when you need. It is essential to have water nearby if you are exercising to prevent severe dehydration.
Being even slightly dehydrated can also make you feel irritable and cranky. A mood that leads many of us to make poor food choices . So it's best to hydrate the body with a glass of water when you can - even if you're not thirsty.
"A lot of us are walking around mildly dehydrated," says Dr Levine. In fact, according to a recent study of nearly 3,000 people, only 34 percent drank the recommended amount of water daily to maintain good health. Not only great for hydration and healthy, a cool glass of water is a refreshing energy boost too. To make sure you're getting enough water and hydration:
Track your water intake
Try recording every glass of water or other beverage you drink you have for a week to get yourself into a habit.
Cut down on caffeine
Drink fewer caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, as well as alcohol. These substances are diuretics that are less hydrating than water, as well as possibly contributing to anxiety levels due to their levels of caffeine. After your morning cup, stick to water for the rest of the day, or decaf beverages such as herbal teas.
Spike your drink
If you don't like the taste of plain water try a home water-filtration system to improve the quality of your tap water to stay hydrated. Or add a dash of fruit juice or lemon to your glass. Another option is to try mineral water if you plain water feels too boring. These are also great options for children who are refusing water.
Find more Healthy Eating articles:
- How to cook with your kids and have fun
- Cook the family friendly way
- The facts about good and bad oils
- Get the most out of your exercise
- Diet friendly frozen desserts
- Bottled water vs tap water
- Food shopping for weight loss
- Manage family snack attacks
- Easy meal ideas when you don't want to cook
- 52 weeks of health and happiness
- 4 budge foods worth cooking from scratch
- Healthy smoothie ideas
- Add flavour (not fat) to your meals
This article was originally written for Kidspot.com.au in conjunction with Weight Watchers as part of their Positively Life Changing initiative.