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Water is one of the 4 cornerstones of health (the others being diet, exercise and sleep) so it’s important that we’re drinking enough every day, especially if we’re outside and/or active.
This week’s article is about hydration, and everything you need to know about H2O.
We’re well and truly into summer now, and that means its getting pretty toasty outside here in Australia.
Our bodies recognise when the heat’s turned up, and it’s way of cooling us down is to make us sweat. As the weather gets warmer we start to sweat more to cope (especially if we’re exercising too), and this means our need to hydrate increases so that our body can replenish the fluids it’s losing through sweating.
Another big (and obvious) way our bodies lose water is through urinating. Our bodies use up the water our cells need to do their thing and we pee out the rest, so it’s important that we’re always giving our bodies enough water at all times.
Our cells and organs need water to function properly - that’s why around 60% of our bodies are made up of water.
Without it, our cells and organs can’t do their jobs properly - starting with our kidneys which act as a filtration system for any toxins that might enter our body.
Failure of this process is called dehydration, and while we can often feel dehydrated in summer when we haven’t had enough water (feeling lightheaded or dizzy), severe dehydration can lead to some pretty major health issues, even death.
The exact amount of water we need to drink to keep our bodies working varies slightly depending on different factors such as weight, gender and how active we are, but most professionals agree that 8 glasses of water a day or two litres of water a day is the minimum we should all be aiming for as a baseline.
Obviously in summer or while being active we sweat a bit more, so 8 glasses might not be enough - if you’ve had 8 glasses and you’re still thirsty, it’s your body telling you that it needs a bit more water so drink up.
It’s important to listen to your body, so if you’re not feeling thirsty after 8 glasses in a single day, don’t push yourself to drink more. Water intoxication is where the body has too much water and causes an imbalance between H2O and sodium levels in the body - this is rare but possible if you’re forcing yourself to drink more than your body needs.
It’s very easy to forget to drink water throughout the day, especially as we tend to rely on substitutes such as coffee, tea, juice or even alcohol at night.
Keeping a full water bottle with you at all times will remind you to take a swig more regularly, and might even stop you from getting up to get a coffee or other beverage instead.
Studies have shown that drinking water regularly also suppresses your appetite - this doesn’t mean you can rely on water instead of a balanced diet, but it does mean that your best defence against constant, unhealthy snacking is the bottle of H2O by your side.
Not only can they track your body’s total water levels, they can also measure body fat percentages, weight and more, meaning it’s the perfect companion for your health journey - no matter what your goal is.
Drink up this summer and keep yourself well hydrated - your body will thank you for it!
Don’t forget to check in each week for more 12 Week Challenge articles, or follow Tanita Australia on social media.
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