…and none of them is good.
At the present time there is a lot of anxiety about the Covid-19 virus and we, I hope, by now are all aware of the actions we need to take to protect ourselves and our loved ones from infection. See the up to date, scientifically informed advice here.
I have seen lots of comment on remedies and supplements to support our immune system, anti-viral essences, drinks, ginger, lemon juice etc. but I haven’t seen anyone advising us to drink enough water.
This is a regular topic for me. I am always advising people to drink enough water during the day. It’s fundamental in a kinesiology session. Hydration is an amazing tool that your body needs to achieve all the other functions. Without it, when we are dehydrated, we just don’t function well – and that includes the immune system.
Most people drink water when they get a dry mouth because we tend to associate a dry mouth with thirst but did you know that by the time you get a dry mouth your body is in an advanced stage of dehydration?
The human body is about 25 per cent solid matter and 75 per cent water. Brain tissue is said to consist of about 85 per cent water. Every function in the body is dependent on us being hydrated and our body monitors its own system so that one part does not receive more than its predetermined share. The brain takes priority of course. The brain is about 2 per cent of the total body weight, but it receives around 20 per cent of blood circulation and so when you are dehydrated your body’s system will ensure that the brain gets the water it needs but of course that may mean that other organs in your body will be under-functioning with resultant problems. Over time this can create serious problems.
The early signs of dehydration
Some of the early signs of dehydration are lack of concentration, poor balance, slow reactions, headache, dry skin and dry eyes so these are good things to remind you to drink water – drinking a cup of tea or fruit juice won’t help much either. These drinks contain water but they also contain dehydrating agents which means they work against what you are trying to achieve in the first place. Your body has to use water in nerve functioning in order to get the water out of the tea or fruit juice.
Good old fashioned, plain water is what is needed
We don’t have plain water in our body, we have saline. When you have to be hydrated, say whilst in hospital, you will be put on a saline drip. In our general lives, we get salt from our diet so plain water will do the trick. The UK is in the developed world, our tap water is clean, if you prefer bottled water or filtered then that’s great too.
How much should you drink?
There are many calculations available which give the exact amount based on your body weight but as a general rule, you should be drinking about eight glasses a day or about one and a half litres. Remember that any water you drink whilst you are working manually or exercising is used at the time so it doesn’t count in your daily calculation.
When you start drinking the optimal amount of water you will find that you will just feel better, this is because your body will be functioning more efficiently. After a while, you will begin to recognise when you need water – before the dry mouth stage! Initially, I have found that many clients come back to me and say “I have been drinking more water and I had a constantly dry mouth!”. This often happens because they have raised their physical and mental awareness. They probably had a dry mouth more often anyway but just didn’t notice it. This all settles down after a while.
But I’ll need to go to the loo more!
One of the main reasons people tell me they don’t want to drink ‘a lot’ of water is because then they will need to go to the loo. There seems to be some worry that they won’t be able to find one in time! My answer is that yes you will go to the loo more – that is the wonderful thing about the body – with the correct stimulus it responds beautifully! Think of all the toxins you are flushing out of the body – literally! Just as it might be a challenge to drink more, it’s a challenge to remember to go to the loo before you leave a building – just develop the habit.
In the long term, you will benefit enormously from drinking more water – in the short term, your immune system will be happier too.