Hungry? Perhaps you’re thirsty instead

Hungry? Perhaps you’re thirsty instead

We know that water is essential to our health: after all, the body is made up of 60% water, with the brain being almost 75% water. Each cell relies on water to be able to function at optimum levels. We know that not being hydrated properly will lead to low energy levels, digestion problems, dry skin and headaches - but are often unaware that many of us are chronically dehydrated.

Chronic dehydration can lead to a multitude of serious health concerns including asthma, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, high blood pressure and migraines. Without sufficient water our bodies can’t remove waste products efficiently and we can become constipated. Our joints need water as a lubricant - without it we feel stiff and slow.

The body reacts to feeling thirsty in a way that often manifests itself as hunger - so if you think you’re hungry, you may actually just be thirsty. Give your body what it’s craving - water - wait half an hour and see if you still feel ‘hungry’. True hunger cannot be satisfied by just drinking so you’ll soon know.

It can feel a challenge to drink the recommended two litres of water each day so why not try some of our tips to effortlessly up your hydration levels.

  • Add any of the following to a jug of chilled, filtered water to make plain water easier to drink: cucumber slices, a fresh strawberry - halved, fresh mint leaves, a chunk of root ginger - peeled, a slice of lemon or lime.
  • Water used in healthy juices and smoothies can be counted as part of your two litres and you’ll get the added benefit of the fruits and vegetables too.
  • Some fruit, such as grapes, cucumber, lettuce and watermelon, is naturally high in water so choose these regularly as part of your diet to increase your hydration.
  • Make wholesome broths (main ingredient = water) with fresh vegetables for easy, hydration-fuelling lunches.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

  • Urine should always be a pale straw colour - any darker and it’s a sign you need to up your water intake.
  • Headaches are an early sign of dehydration.
  • Dry, stressed skin can be a sign that the water levels in your body aren’t high enough.
  • Dry mouth.

It’s important that, especially in warmer weather, you don’t wait until you feel the signs of dehydration before you act. Aggressively hydrate in the summer months and make sure you actively hydrate all year round. Your body can lose up to two to three litres of water a day - through sweating and breathing - so it’s obvious that we need to replace that volume. Being ill, of course, means you’ll lose water more quickly.

Our mantra? Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate -and then hydrate some more…

 

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