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Water – are you drinking enough?

For this month’s Inside Out Beauty I was thinking about what to do – my list is getting longer and longer.. ‘Wellness’ products are like skincare, it can be confusing as to what we actually need. There is so much choice in the superfood department for example, all promising a multitude of health and beautifying benefits; it can be easy to believe that we need them all. I for one am quite often there, buying the latest fads and popping the vitamin of choice. However if we try it all at the same time, how do we know what is working and what is not actually doing that much for us. It can be easy to get caught up in it all and forget about the basics. One fundamental basic that I often forget is water. Crazy seeing that I live in a country where I am lucky to have it free flowing from my tap. All the superfoods in the world are not going to do that much if I’m dehydrated.

More than half of an adult human body is made up of water. The figures change according to what you are reading, but it seems to be around 50-70% of each of us is good old H2O. Our blood is around 85% water, our muscles 80%, according to Britta our brains are 80%, and our bones are around 25%. Our bodies need water to function, but we are constantly losing water through these various bodily functions. It therefore makes sense that we need to keep our water levels topped up. If we don’t dehydration starts to set in…

Dehydration can be mild but it can also be life threatening – severe dehydration should be treated as a medical emergency. Mild dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and lack of concentration. Remember our brains are 80% water so if we start to lose this, it can become hard to think, focus and concentrate.

But how much do we actually need? Six to eight glasses seems to be the standard recommendation, although there are no official guidelines or studies to back this up. We are all different shapes and sizes so how much we need will vary. Our daily lives will also affect how much we need. On hot days if we are sweating we obviously need more as we do if we exercise. Some people argue that tea and coffee count towards our daily quota, however they can actually act like diurectics which means they make you pee i.e lose water. Therefore they need to be balanced out with more water, as does alcohol.

The body will hydrate the internal organs first and our skin last. Although our skin is important, our beating heart and brain are slightly more imperative. Therefore if we are dehydrated it will be our skin that suffers first.

A few things I’ve read have suggested that there are no actual studies that back up the idea that drinking lots of water will make our skin appear healthier. However it makes sense that a well hydrated body will perform better and a well hydrated skin will look better. I’m sure that everyone has experienced a morning after drinking too much alcohol, and seen the difference in their skin. Those working in an air-conditioned or over heated environment will have seen the effects on their skin too.

I bought Abigail James’ Love Your Skin book this week and she says..

“Cells are 70% water so need it to function properly. Healthy cells result in a more rapid renewal rate and a more glowing complexion”

“A well hydrated cell is plump and softens the appearance of fine-lines”

When I drink lots of water, my skin looks better I’m sure, I also feel better – less sluggish. However I know that there are more often days that I just do not drink enough. I’ll take a bottle out with me and then bring it home not even half drunk. I can feel the difference too when I’ve drunk more tea than water. So this month I’m concentrating on drinking more water. I’ve got a big (glass) bottle on the side at home so I can track how much I’ve had. It’s not about catching up though; if you try do it all in one hit – you will just pee it out – which will be annoying and a waste of time. It is much better to sip regularly throughout the day. Instead of a tea at that mid afternoon slump, I’m reaching for water instead of tea – or at least water with my tea! Herbal teas can of course help you hydrate, as can foods like cucumber and watermelon which is a current staple in our house.

Unfortunately talking water opens up the debate – tap, bottled, filter – what filter?? I think I’d be opening a can of worms if I started that on here now. We have a Britta filter at home, but when I win the lottery I will have a filter system for the whole house. We’ve had Bobble Bottles on the go, I’ve currently got a Britta Fill & Go that I was given as a birthday gift, but I’ve been looking at glass ones, had a Klean Kanteen for years too… very open to suggestions here!!

Anyway the conclusion here is however you get it, just make sure you’re getting enough. Drinking water is a very simple and very achievable part of our beauty routine that we should ALL be doing!

Do you drink enough water – do you notice a difference when you do or don’t get your daily quota?

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