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The Importance of Hydration and How to “Eat” Your Water

by in Lifestyle on 19th February, 2020

Water is a miraculous substance essential for life. Nothing can satisfy our thirst in the way a plain, cool glass of water can. Making up approximately 60-70% of body weight, some functions of water in the human body involve cell structure, temperature regulation, electrolyte balance maintenance, nerve and muscle function, and blood sugar regulation.  

A few key functions of water and why adequate hydration is important:

  • Cell function: water is an important component of cell structure as water in the blood carries nutrients to cells and enables blood circulation to tissues and organs. Hence all major bodily systems including respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, nervous system and kidney and liver function are dependent on adequate hydration. Due to such primary functions, good water intake is especially vital for infants, children and pregnant women. 
  • Waste elimination: water carries waste products from cells to the kidneys to be filtered and excreted through urine. Additionally, a part of the liver’s detoxifying function is to convert toxic substances into water-soluble substances in order for the kidneys to excrete them safely. 
  • Cognitive function: as water makes up approximately 75% of brain mass, mild dehydration may contribute to mood changes, decreased concentration, short-term memory loss, fatigue and reduced alertness, especially in high temperature settings (hello, radiators!) and after exercise. These disruptions can be reversed when the body is replenished with water again.  

How to stay hydrated

1. Herbal teas

Many people say they do not enjoy the taste of herbal teas but the variety of flavours are endless. It is a matter of finding which herbs are to your personal liking and experimenting with varying straining times. Straining for more than 5 minutes can often lead to bitter tasting teas, whereas beginning with 2 to 3 minutes of straining will bring a lighter but still fragrant smell and taste. Beneficial and easily accessible herbal teas include chamomile, peppermint, echinacea, rose and ginger. 

2. Eat your water

Many common fruits and vegetables have a high electrolyte and water content: 

  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Cucumber
  • Courgettes 
  • Celery 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Bell peppers

Aim to enjoy around 2 portions of fruits and 4 portions of vegetables per day.

Electrolytes are minerals (sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride and calcium) necessary for electrical conduction in nerve and muscle movement, maintaining extracellular fluid volume, energy metabolism, and hormone and neurotransmitter secretion. 

3. Smoothies

Using whole, high water content fruits in smoothies make delicious, satiating and hydrating breakfasts or afternoon treats. Smoothie-friendly fruits and green leafy vegetables such as apples, pears, berries, bananas, spinach and romaine lettuce, add fibre, antioxidants and of course, great flavour and texture. Blending with a minimum of 250ml of water also guarantees additional hydration. 

Green smoothie recipe:

Ingredients:
250ml / 1 cup of filtered water
cube of frozen spinach / ~27g of fresh spinach
small, unwaxed apple
small pear
~7 inch celery stalk
small, frozen banana
1 tsp of @adunaworld moringa powder
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
——
method:
blend the spinach and water first
once blended, add the pear, apple + celery, blend
lastly, add in the banana, moringa powder + parsley
enjoy the green goodness immediately

Chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie:

Ingredients:

  • 100ml of almond milk
  • 200ml of filtered water
  • 1 scoop of plant-based chocolate protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy immediately.

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute as medical advice. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider for advice regarding any medical condition. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat medical conditions based on this information. 

Sources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603652/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356561/

doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2009.111

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4718206/ 

 

Ashiya Mendheria

Ashiya Mendheria

Ashiya Mendheria is a holistic health-conscious, soul-searching Muslim woman, in a constant pursuit to seek God, explore self-love and live a spiritual and tayyib lifestyle. She is studying Nutritional Therapy at the College of Naturopathic Medicine.