Water for Your Health: Am I drinking enough water?

Considering the human body is made of nearly 70% water, it’s amazing how many of us fail to keep our vital H20 levels topped up. And while we all promise to drink more, this weekly vow is easily forgotten in favour of more caffeine fuelled beverages.

However, it’s not just because it’s so cheap and easy that we should get guzzling, it’s because water is one of the most essential elements in the maintenance of a happy and healthy body. In the same way a car can’t run without fuel, a body can’t work without water. In fact, every single cell and organ function of the human body depends on it, so if our water levels fall, our basic functioning also starts to deteriorate.

Here the top five signs that suggest you need to start refilling your water tank:

1. You’re sleepy and grumpy - and we don’t mean you’re one of the 7 dwarves 

If you find you’re getting a good night’s sleep but still feel tired during the day, then this is the first sign you’re dehydrated. What’s more, because lack of water is zapping your energy levels, you’ll probably feel cranky and irritable too. Not a good mix. So back away from the coffee pot and grab yourself a glass of water for a proper energy boost.

2. You’re not as ‘regular’

Apologies for the toilet talk, but inadequate supping can cause the colon to draw water from the stool instead, making it difficult for your bowels to function as they should. Which means if you’re suffering from constipation, try increasing your water intake. And remember, whilst fibre is also an effective remedy for constipation, fibre needs water. So if you up your fibre and not your water, you could make it even worse! 

Whilst we’re on the subject of regulation, if you’re not getting enough water you won’t urinate as frequently as you should, which could lead to urinary tract infections. Subsequently, this can lead to a kidney infection, as the kidneys are put under increasing strain.

3. You have back and joint pains

If you’re suffering from more acute back and joint pain, then it’s probably a sign you need to double the water dose. Your joints need plenty of water in order to stay lubricated but without the proper hydration, acid waste can build up and cause painful inflammation. Similarly, water acts as a cushion for the discs in your spine, so just imagine what happens when that cushion isn’t there. Exactly. Get drinking.

4.  Hunger strikes when it shouldn’t

If you’ve noticed increased hunger pangs, despite eating a normal healthy diet, it might just mean you’re thirsty. Because even though it’s see-through, water is actually very filling, and drinking enough of it will help regulate your appetite. It will also starve off fluid retention as your body won’t fight to retain extra fluid it if it’s fully hydrated. 

5. Your skin has lost its usual luminosity

As the largest (and only visible) organ of the body, there’s no hiding from the effects of dehydration on the skin. Which means, if your skin is dry, dull and less plump, there’s no point blaming your new moisturiser, because it’s fighting a losing battle my friend. Reach for the water bottle instead and start to put that glow back in those cheeks, from the inside.

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