We’re constantly getting told that water is the answer to anything: bad skin- drink water, headache- drink water, broke your leg- drink water…
There’s no denying it is one of the best things out there for us- aiding a plethora of bodily functions and flushing us of our toxins, we couldn’t do without it (well, for three days at a push, we could).
In a perfect world, we should all be drinking around three litres a day (but bare in mind, it’s not one rule fits all as it’s dependent on sex, age, weight and height). But, generally a few litres a day will keep you nice and flushed.
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This might sound like a lot of fluid, especially to those just used to having a the odd glass here and there. After a while of consciously trying to drink more, it will naturally just become a habit; try carrying a refillable bottle around with you everywhere you go! Drinking more water will also keep you fuller for longer and help curb those sweet cravings!
Just don’t take it to the extreme
Although there are endless benefits to keeping hydrated, like anything, there are also risks if it’s taken to the extreme.
Taken to the extreme the other way, and you risk dehydration, which we’re all aware is dangerous and something to avoid at all costs (fear of this is often the reason for taking it to extreme the other way- AKA, drowning yourself)…
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We’ve all heard the horror stories of people literally drowning their insides with water- and it’s a real thing, that can be as dangerous as dehydrating your body.
What is over-hydration?
Basically, over-hydration occurs when a person takes in more water than they lose, via the kidneys (when you wee). Athletes in particular are most susceptible to it, as they tend to over compensate when exercising to avoid dehydration.
Over-hydration can also come about due to increased water retention, in which your body just can’t rid itself of water properly. Medical conditions, such as thyroid problems, can cause excess retention.
The main concern of over-hydration is Hyponatremia– a condition in which salt levels become dangerously low, as electrolytes become too diluted.
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So, controlling how much fluid you intake and keeping on top of any potential medical conditions are ways to help avoid over-hydration.
What are the symptoms of over-hydration?
Check your pee
Your urine is generally a good indicator of your hydration levels and can alert you when you need to start downing more water, or lay off it a bit.
If it’s dark in colour and has a stench to it- then you need to get yourself to the tap, ASAP.
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On the other hand, clearer urine tends to indicate well-functioning kidneys and sufficient hydration levels.
Our bodies really are our temples. You wouldn’t deprive it of food (I certainly wouldn’t anyway), so don’t let it go thirsty, but remember to bear in mind not to water log it, either.