Stay hydrated

I often talk about keeping hydrated because I cannot express how important it is in order for the body to function correctly and at its best. Drinking sufficient water each day is essential for many reasons, including regulating body temperature, keeping joints lubricated and cushioned, and protecting the spinal cord and other sensitive areas of the body. It helps in delivering nutrients to cells, keeping organs functioning properly and preventing infections. It gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movement. Being hydrated improves sleep quality, cognition and mood and has the extra benefits of a plumped up and smoother skin, giving a more youthful appearance, less dry and flaky.
Too little hydration can cause a number of problems because the body is not getting rid of toxins in the body, making the immune system weaker and more prone to infection. It can also cause sluggish bowel function and constipation, as there are water receptors in the colon which pull water away from the body to assist softening of stools. The kidneys need water to flush out the toxins in the body; insufficient water and the body will retain more water that then sits stagnant with more toxins, so it then becomes very concentrated in the amount of toxins which makes a darker colour. It can also increase the chance of urinary tract infections and kidney stones – this became a common problem for body builders pre-competition when trying to look super lean, or actors and celebrities leading up to a big role for photo shoots and filming.
Being dehydrated can make the water concentration in the blood decrease, making it thicker. This makes it harder for the heart to pump properly and circulate the thicker blood through the system, thereby sending it into overdrive, resulting in increased blood pressure. The body then starts to produce more cholesterol to keep the cell membranes moist, increasing cholesterol levels.
Side effects of too little water can actually show signs of dilated pores, dull skin, lines and wrinkling. It can also give a dry mouth and lips. It can show signs of mind and body fatigue, feeling unusually tired and confused with headaches and can cause dizziness when trying to stand up. It can also cause other issues with the pulse, low level of consciousness and seizures.
Too little water can actually cause weight gain, as the body is not able to decipher the difference between hunger pangs and dehydration. Often people think they are hungry, when in fact they are just thirsty and some fluid would do the trick.
Dehydration can make the body hold on to extra water to make up for the lack of incoming water. Many dieticians recommend drinking around at least 500ml (17 ounces) of water as it can boost the metabolism by 30%.
Signs you may not drinking enough water throughout the day:
Lack of energy
Severe headache
A little disorientated
Dry eyes
Dry mouth
Dry skin
Muscle cramps and joint pain
Uncomfortable stomach pain
Less frequent urination
An indulgence of salty foods

A craving for salty foods can be a sign that the body is stripped of electrolytes and is requiring the sodium to control the electrolytes, the mineral salts that help retain the water the body needs to function. If the body is dehydrated, it craves salty snacks or sugary drinks that serve no nutritional value, so eating a balanced diet and regularly sipping water can help maintain those electrolytes, especially after any alcohol intake.
Colour of the urine is dark and is of strong odour – When the body is deprived of water, the waste inside the body is harder to flush out and therefore the urine is more concentrated also in colour shade. Drinking plenty of water helps eliminate toxins, therefore producing a clearer, lighter shade of urine.

Keeping hydrated

Drink plenty of fluid throughout the day, at least 6-8 large glasses, especially in hot weather. If active, more fluid is necessary to replace water after perspiration. Having a water bottle with a resealable lid, to have access regularly works well for constant top up. Water, lower fat-milk and sugar free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count, but should not be the only source. However it should be noted that caffeine can act as a diuretic, therefore should be limited as this can counteract, if this is the only original fluid being consumed.
Drink fresh water with flavouring of orange slices, lemon, mint or any other that will help one make it more appealing and to drink more water. Fruit teas, hot or cold can be good, and can easily be carried round.
Stay healthy and drink up!

Love and Sparkles
Samsara x
Facebook: Samara Kyriakou

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