Why do we need to keep hydrated?
The fluid is so important in the body that even when levels drop only slightly, we begin to feel the consequences. Low levels of fluid in the body can cause headaches, feelings of dizziness, lethargy, poor concentration and a dry mouth. Over a longer-term, dehydration can cause constipation and can be associated with urinary tract infections and the formation of kidney stones. Regular and adequate intakes of fluid can help to address these.
Water in the body is essential for many important processes to take place. From our blood system carrying essential glucose, oxygen and nutrients to cells, to the kidneys getting rid of waste products we no longer want, fluid in the body is vital to allow these to occur. It also lubricates our joints and eyes, helps our digestive system function and keeps our skin healthy.
An adequate fluid intake is critical for sports people, principally because their losses of fluid through sweat during activity are increased. It is well known
that performance in athletes can drop if fluid levels are not adequate. Athletes often choose isotonic sports drinks to replace both fluid and salts lost through sweat. In fact, regular drinking is as much part of their training as their diet and physical strength. However, most of us who enjoy occasional sport, gym classes, or recreational running don’t need the more expensive sports drinks and are best choosing water to keep our levels of hydration up. Remember to take a bottle of water with you when you go for a walk, to the gym, for a run or game of football or rounders and drink a little every now and then!
Good hydration is critical to health and keeps our bodies performing at their best, not only in terms of all the processes that go on but also keeping our levels of concentration up. The best advice is to keep a bottle of water close by to top up fluid levels regularly and keep thirst away.