Keeping Hydrated: The Importance of Water

Keeping Hydrated: The Importance of Water

keeping hydrated
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Keeping Hydrated: The Importance of Water

We all understand that we need to drink adequate amounts of water to keep hydrated and be healthy. But have you ever wondered about the scientifics? Why is it so important? Is there an optimal time we should drink it?

First, let’s dive in to discuss the quality of your water…

Water in its purest form is H20. Water can assimilate molecules from its surroundings, therefore the choice you make to drink good quality water is very important. Here in the UK, our tap water is drinkable, but it has been treated with chemicals which can be damaging to our bodies in the long-term… especially if we are trying to heal from dis-ease. 

Mineral water would be the better choice, but if you’re buying from the supermarket you should ideally opt for glass bottle packaging over plastic, due to the BPA chemicals found in plastic. Filtered water is a great option. Again, the quality of your filter will dictate the quality of your water. And finally, we have pure water, which you can obtain from a distiller. Pure water, as mentioned above, can draw minerals from its surroundings. If you choose to drink only pure water, you must ensure you supplement your diet with plenty of minerals to limit the risk of deficiency. 

So, why do humans even need water? 

Each of us are made up of 60-83% water, depending on which part of the body you observe. Without keeping hydrated, your organs and mucus membranes won’t function at their best. Our busy modern lifestyles can often mean we don’t drink enough water daily, whilst drinks such as ready-made drinks, coffee and alcohol exasperate this as they dehydrate the body. If you choose to consume any of these, remember to rehydrate afterwards with plenty of water.

Our entire digestive system is lined with mucus, which requires hydration. Our lungs are also lined with mucus to facilitate the exchange of oxygen. I have suffered with asthma for a long time, but I now realise how much it is triggered by dehydration.

Is there an optimal time to drink water?

It is recommended that you drink a pint of clean water when you wake up, and a pint of water at least 30 minutes before every meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner. This pint helps your stomach and upper intestine stay well hydrated. It also helps the organs begin to secrete the right juices for digestion, so when you sit down to eat 30 minutes later… your body is perfectly primed to feast and start absorbing nutrients! 

On top of all this amazing water, as well as sipping it regularly throughout the day, you can carry on drinking other fluids such as herbal teas or coffee alternatives which will also help you to stay hydrated.

Click here to view a great article about the way you can drink flaxseed tea to support your hydration. Flaxseed has “an amazing mucilaginous quality that, when made into linseed tea, allows the body to hold onto water. In fact, linseed tea is one of the most hydrating drinks you can have, coming a close second to water itself!”

Another way to benefit from getting even more water into your diet, is by soaking your dry foods such as nuts, seeds and pulses, which in turn helps them to become more digestible. There are also plenty of juicy vegetables and fruits to be eaten that contribute to even more hydration.

Just remember the golden rule… listen to your body. If you feel hungry, make sure to drink that pint of water and then wait at least 30 minutes before eating. 

Happy hydrating! 

Words by Valerie Viot, Centre Manager at Together Against Cancer.