A protein shake in a plastic cup with a straw

Around 60% of your body is made up of water and it plays a vital role in maintaining good bodily functions. Every day no matter whether the weather is cold or warm staying hydrated is super important.

Why is Hydration Important to the Body?

Hydration is crucial for the body’s overall health and proper functioning. Water makes up a significant portion of our body (around 40-60% for adults), and it plays several essential roles, including:

  • Maintaining Fluid Balance
  • Temperature Regulation
  • Nutrient Transport
  • Digestion
  • Cognitive Function
  • Heart Health
  • Joint and Muscle Function
  • Skin Health

How Much Should I Drink?

In general, I would recommend consuming at least 6-8 glasses of fluid a day even when exercising. If you have been sweating more than usual consume more liquids.

Another more accurate scale to tell your hydration is the colour of your urine. The lighter and clearer the urine the better. Cleveland Clinic states that ‘When you’re healthy and hydrated, your urine should fall somewhere between colourless and the colour of light straw and honey.’

What Happens When You Are Dehydrated?

When you are dehydrated, it means that your body does not have enough fluids, primarily water, to carry out its normal functions. Dehydration can have various effects on your body and overall health.

Common symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, increased thirst, dark yellow urine, fatigue, dizziness, and a reduced ability to sweat and cool down. As dehydration worsens, it can result in more severe symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, dry skin, confusion, and even unconsciousness. Prolonged or severe dehydration can have serious health implications, including kidney problems, urinary tract infections, heat-related illnesses, and electrolyte imbalances.

What Should I Drink to Improve Hydration?

Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) can also be healthy.

If you do not like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime.

Benefits of Staying Hydrated:

  1. Improved mood. Studies have shown that fatigue is greater and alertness is reduced when someone is dehydrated.
  2. Aids in joint function. It’s estimated that 70 – 80% of your joint cartilage consists of water. If you are hydrated, then the gel-like liquid provides nutrition, shock absorption, lubrication, and cushioning in the joints.
  3. Cleanses your body, it delivers vital nutrients to cells around the body.
  4. Improved sleep quality and decreased chance of dehydration when you wake up.
  5. Maximises sports performance. This is a result of all the other benefits. Also, as you sweat when training it dehydrates you therefore if you do not replenish your body will feel worse.