You’re probably dehydrated.
It’s true, the majority of people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. How much do you think you need to drink in one day? 1 litre? 2? 3? The recommended amount is 2 litres, but I’d suggest drinking slightly more than this. Personally I aim for around 3.5 litres. Obviously the volume of water will be different for everyone, depending on size, activity and other factors such as the climate.
And when I say water I mean water!
Coffee, tea and fizzy drinks don’t count. Water flavouring like squash is fine, but I’d recommend avoiding the high sugar ones.
The quickest way to tell if you’re dehydrated is to go to the toilet. Your urine should be nearly clear. If its darker you’re already dehydrated.
So now you know roughly how much water you should aim for and how to know when you haven’t drunk enough of it.
But what exactly does that water get used for in your body?
Cells- You’ve heard people say that humans are two thirds water or 75% water (estimates vary), this is why. It makes up what is known as the cytoplasm, which has many functions. One of which is to provide structure for the cells to prevent them from deforming and collapsing.
Chemical reactions- The body's metabolism functions by carrying out multiple chemical reactions to provide energy. Without water these reactions are impossible.
Delivery and waste removal system- The blood is made up of large volumes of water, allowing it to carry all of the nutrients the body needs and then remove the waste products that are generated by the chemical reactions I mentioned above.
Temperature regulation- Sweat. Sweat is made mostly of water, when the water on the surface of the skin evaporates it takes heat with it, cooling the body.
Now these aren’t the only uses for water in the body, but they’re the biggest ones. As an osteopath and fitness enthusiast there are a couple of other functions of water that interest me.
Water is essential for synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is the lubricant contained within all of your joints. Without synovial fluid, there is no movement. This fluid also functions as a nutrition delivery system for the tissues contained within the joints. Because joints are effectively sealed off from the rest of the body by the synovial membrane, certain tissues, namely the cartilage, don’t get their nutrients directly from blood. They get it from synovial fluid. So as you can see, without proper hydration, your joints won’t function properly.
Next up is a process called hydrolysis. Hydrolysis literally means water split. The body uses this for many functions, but one of particular interest is the breakdown of fats into sugars that can be used to generate energy. Yes, you read that right, when people talk about burning fat, they’re actually talking about a process in which hydrolysis is used by the body to provide energy. So, if you’re not hydrated properly its actually more difficult to use your fat reserves, or to just generate energy overall. Pretty important stuff right?
Now I could go on all day about why you should be drinking more water, but I think that would bore you senseless and I feel I’ve made my point here. Water is essential, drink more of it.
There is a side effect of drinking more water. You will wee more, this is unavoidable but a small price to pay.
I would like to point out that it is possible to drink too much water. Which leads to overhydration, which can be just as deadly as extreme dehydration. Fortunately to reach this point you’d have to drink a ridiculous amount in a short period of time. All the same, don’t go downing litre after litre of water in an attempt to get your intake for the day done and then not have to drink anymore all day.
If you have any questions or queries don’t hesitate to call or message us and we’ll be happy to help!