Water Intake, Dehydration & You

“If you want to live the healthiest life possible and boost your overall wellness, you should drink more water.”

It’s fair to assume that no one reading the above statement is surprised by the idea that drinking plenty of water is crucial to human health. The fact is repeated to the point of cliche, often suggested as a cure for all ills. We all know we should be drinking more water to stave off the damage chronic dehydration can cause, enjoy a clearer complexion, and simply feel better - but is the matter actually that simple? Below, we’ve dug into the facts to try and get to the bottom of this often basically-presented - but actually surprisingly complex - issue.

The “8x8 rule”

The general recommendation is that you should drink eight (8 oz) glasses of water per day - but, unfortunately, this has been disputed on numerous occasions. Some argue that the 8x8 “rule” is arbitrary, while others dismiss it as it doesn’t take into account various lifestyle factors - for example, someone who is exercising heavily should definitely drink more than 8x8 per day.

So, how much water should you drink? It’s really up to you. If you’re thirsty, then drink water. If you’re not thirsty, then you can go without if you prefer - though there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

The risk of diuretics

Diuretics are beverages that actually contribute to dehydration. The most common example is alcohol; if you’re thirsty and you drink a glass of wine, in terms of your body’s response, you’ll be more dehydrated as a result of doing so. The same applies to beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee and green tea; the caffeine acts as a diuretic, which worsens dehydration.

Even worse, the problems diuretics can cause will be exacerbated if you are exercising regularly. It is also worth noting that the two diuretics above are not particularly beneficial beverages, either: alcohol is often misused, while the benefits of caffeine are minimal. As a result, it may be worth exploring the possibility of alternatives- such as learning how to stop drinking or maybe switching to decaf or limiting your caffeine usage. Ultimately, the benefits of cutting out alcohol and limiting your caffeine intake expand far beyond simply improving hydration levels, but can also undoubtedly be beneficial in this regard.

The importance of proper hydration during exercise

In discussing the above, we have noted the need for adequate hydration during exercise, and this is a point that is worth underlining. If you are working out, and particularly if you are sweating, then you will need to increase your water intake accordingly. It’s also worth noting that this is advisable even if you don’t particularly feel thirsty; if you’ve lost fluids due to exercise, then they need to be replenished regardless of how well-hydrated you feel.


In conclusion... Increasing your water intake is often suggested as an essential for all health-related issues but, as we have pointed out above, the matter is a little more complex than is often presented. So, while it is important to note the potential issues caused by diuretics and exercise, as a general rule: drink water when you’re thirsty, and you shouldn’t go far wrong.


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4 Tips To Boost Your GI Health

When it comes to wellness, the gastrointestinal system is often overlooked. This is somewhat surprising, given that a functioning GI system is so essential to our ability to feel at our best.


Unfortunately, GI issues are all too common, with millions of people experiencing illnesses related to this delicately-balanced biological system. From illnesses such as IBS to issues with malabsorption, the problems the GI system can cause can be genuinely life-affecting. Taking steps to ensure all is well in this area is, therefore, hugely beneficial to your overall health. While you should always visit gastro doctors if you experience continual, persistent gastrointestinal issues, there are a few things you can do to give your system the best chance of enjoying good health.

Eat a high fiber diet

Fiber is essential for GI health, and can help in the management of a variety of GI health conditions as well as promoting overall good health and well-being. Thankfully, there are plenty of sources of fiber that are both beneficial to health and genuinely delicious, so try to include foods such as lentils, grains, eggs, and avocados in your diet to ensure you’re eating adequate fiber every day.

Use probiotics

Probiotics are not a particularly new innovation; these “friendly bacteria” have made their way into the diet of the average person due to the benefits they offer to GI health. However, it’s fair to say that probiotics are not all equal, and some are more beneficial than others. Make sure to research the different strains and study packaging labels to ensure maximum efficacy.

Give fermented foods and drinks a try

It’s fair to say that most people recoil from the idea of eating fermented foods, but these foods have been part of the human diet for centuries, and most specialists believe they are particularly beneficial for GI health. For a more palatable entry into the world of fermented foods, try making your own kombucha; this beverage is well-tolerated and has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over recent years.

Ensure you stay hydrated

Most of us know the importance of drinking water for overall health, but it’s also important to stay hydrated to support your GI system. The amount of water you should drink per day depends on your activity levels; two liters is considered a decent baseline requirement, and you should drink more if you exercise. If you’re going to aim to drink two liters per day, it’s also helpful to add a pinch of salt to the water itself; this ensures your electrolytes will stay balanced throughout the day and will help you feel much better in general.




While implementing the tips above should be beneficial to your overall GI system, if you do experience any lingering issues in this area, then it is best to visit a medical professional in order to ascertain what might be happening. GI problems can be deeply uncomfortable, and impact your ability to enjoy life to its fullest, so don’t hesitate to seek further advice when required.



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Health Precautions To Prioritize If You Want To Live A Healthy Life

When you decide that you want to commit to living a healthier lifestyle, your mind can often be buzzing with all of the different ideas you’re keen to put in place. Some of them will be really great for you, and others may be more hassle than they’re worth. However, it’s important to understand the small steps that may be able to make the most difference to your life.

First of all, there are better habits that you could think about adopting that can help your health levels overall. And the best news is, they’re all relatively easy to take on. When you’re trying to be healthier, it’s a misconception that you need to make drastic changes to your lifestyle and live in a bubble. Instead, there are a few key precautions that you need to take, as well as few simple steps, and you should find that you’re able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle overall.

Here’s how to get started.....

Staying Hydrated

It’s the age old suggestion that you’ll hear time and time again, but it’s repeated because it works. When you’re trying to take measures towards a better level of health, nothing can beat hydration. When you’re hydrated, you have more energy, your body functions better, and you’ll even get clearer skin. So what’s not to love? If you struggle to drink enough fluids, try adding different flavors in, sipping throughout the day, or even use an app that can remind you to drink up!

Staying Active

Another very effective preventative health measure is again nothing new, and you’re probably tired of hearing about it, but exercise really works. Not only does it keep you in good shape, but when you are in good shape, you’re at less risk of serious health problems like heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity. Plus, when you commit to working out, you’ll often find that your mind is clearer, you have more energy, and that you feel better in yourself.

Avoiding Stress

One sure fire way to feel awful and harm your health is to let stress get to you. When you’re stressed out, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Not only will your mind struggle, but your body can show signs of wear like tiredness, dry skin, and weight loss too. So, try to reduce your stress levels as much as you can. You may find that breathing, being present in the moment, switching off a bit more, and, as we just discussed, exercising can help too.

Getting Enough Sleep

Another key precaution to make sure you’re as healthy as possible is to get enough sleep. Now, that’s often easier said than done, but sleep is a magic healer. When our bodies sleep, they repair. Not only can you ensure that your health is at its peak by getting good quality sleep, but you will also find that you have more energy. So, focus on getting enough sleep, and you should notice a difference in your health.

Having Good Oral Health

Then you’ve also got your physical health to think about. Sometimes, there are only so many precautions that you can take. When it comes to your oral health, you may want to look into emergency dental care options in case you need them. However, regular checkups should suffice until you do. Plus, brushing twice a day, using mouthwash and flossing when you need to should be enough to keep the emergency appointments at bay.

Staying On Top Of Check Ups

Similarly, you should also make sure that you are on good terms with your doctor's office. You may feel like avoiding your doctor means that you have a good bill of health. But that’s not always the case. It’s healthy to have checkups. Whether you need to check your heart health, cholesterol, or blood pressure, look into any specialist care that you may need, or just have health MOT’s on a semi-regular basis, getting checkups is always a precautionary measure that you should aim to prioritize.

Avoiding Toxins

Lastly, you should also aim to avoid toxins as much as possible. Like stress, which is a kind of toxin in itself, toxins can have a significant impact on your health levels and stop you from leading a healthy lifestyle. In fact, you could benefit from going organic in life. Also, try to limit your alcohol intake and never binge drink, quit if you are a smoker, avoid processed and chemical-laden foods, and try to stay away from chemical beauty products too. Then, you should find that your body will run better.


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Take Better Care Of You: Health Tips For Maintaining Inner Beauty

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself sometimes.  With more demands on our time and attention from work, children and family, the importance of keeping healthy can take a back seat.  It’s time to make a change to your health and maintain a better, longer lasting version of yourself.

We all know the rules.  Exercise often, eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated.  But there are other important factors we are missing.  When was the last time you saw your doctor, for example? How long have you been ignoring that ache in your neck? I’ve gathered together a short guide of changes you need to make now. Small changes for a better future.  So sit back, grab a cup of green tea and read on …

I won’t kick start this with hydration but will instead highlight the importance right now and get to it later.  Drink.  Drink 2 litres a day.  Every day.  Instead we’ll start by looking at fitness.

Your heart is the only thing between you and death.  If your heart fails, well that’s essentially the end of it all.  So keeping it healthy and and strong is vital.  Experts advise we take a minimum of 25 minutes of exercise per day. This can range from gentle walking to more high impact sports such as running.  Cardio fitness is the key to a nice strong heart but there are so many exciting ways to get the heart pumping.  Here are three to get you inspired

1: The Quick Morning Cardio Burn

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

If you don’t have time to make it to the gym, wake up and smash a 15 minute cardio wake up call.  Simple exercises like one minute reps of jumping jacks, squat thrusts, sit ups, high chests and running up and down the stairs, repeated 5 times each (Only pick three and mix them up everyday)   Or include a short weight lifting routine as I wrote about in this blog into your quick cardio.  It will give you a super snappy cardio buzz before breakfast.  You can jump in the shower and feel the extra energy boost.  Cardio exercise increases your metabolism all day so you can feel smug that you have set the town of your day and enjoy a guilt three latte at lunch.

 

2: The Enthusiastic Run

Running isn’t for everyone but, don’t knock it until you have given it a good go.  Running with interval sprints of thirty seconds for 30 minutes is a real fat burning cardio boost which will help trim you down whilst toning your muscles.  You need to ensure you have the correct trainers and kit to protect your limbs as this is a high impact sport.  The very best thing about falling in love with running is that it is completely free and you can do it absolutely anywhere.  Put your music in your ears and pound away the miles.  Mix running up with something like swimming to keep your body moving without constant high impact on your joints.

 

3: Think Different!

Horse riding may not look like it’s burning much in the way of calories but a one hour horse ride burns the same calories as a 30 minute run.  It is also extremely good at building up your core muscles and working your inner thigh.  Giving you a cardio and toning exercise all in one.  Make sure you stay safe by wearing all the correct kit and find a local riding school that gives lessons in a school or takes you out and about on brilliant hacks.  You won’t even notice your heart is getting a workout.  You might notice it the following day in your muscles though!

 

If you can include 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine, you will be well on the way to improving the health of your heart.

 

Next on the list of things we usually put on the back burners are regular health checks with a doctor or our dentist.  As we grow older we need to keep an eye on things.  Prevention is most definitely better than cure, but with certain illnesses we can be blissfully unaware of any changes until it’s too late.

Our teeth suffer years of abuse without a good hygienist, so get online and use http://dentists.nhere.me to find a local dentist and go for regular check ups and cleans. This is especially important if you have children.  Kids watching their parents taking care of their teeth are twice as likely to take care of their own.  Make it fun.  Brush together and get your kids to enjoy visits to the dentist.  

Finding a good doctor is also important.  Women over 20 should be having regular smear tests and women over 35 should be having well women tests. Check your breasts often and at different points in your cycle so you get to notice any changes in the shape and feel of them.  If you notice anything out of place, make an appointment and get a second opinion.

 

Keeping a little back for yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon your body.  Mindfulness.  Relaxation.  These two simple things are so often forgotten, but without them we can suffer unhealthy habits and even create mental health issues we could have avoided.  Meditation is particularly helpful at putting your monkey mind to task.  Our minds can create huge problems for relatively minor issues.  Learning to control that is the key to lasting inner peace.

Yoga is a fantastic release for stress and can be practiced either first thing in the morning to energize you, or with a little meditation last thing at night to prepare your body for sleep.  You don’t have to find a class to learn the basics with lots of handy tips on line like these, just find a comfortable, clutter free area and a quite 15 minutes then practice the slow, low impact movements whilst allowing your mind to run free of all the chatter.  

Inner peace is something that we need to help us solve problems and make better decisions.  Lying in bed with a million worries and anxieties will lead us to a pattern of no sleep and sluggish behavior.  Lack of sleep can have serious impact on our day to day lives.  Creating havoc with our skin and general health.  Find peace, relax and sleep!

 

Lastly, I mentioned it in the first half of this article, hydration and a healthy balanced diet.

You will not find one article in the world on health that doesn’t stress the importance of drinking pure water every day.  Amounts range, but setting yourself up for the challenge of 2 liters a day, will make remarkable changes in your life.  From your brain to your skin and your general energy levels, water will change the way you take on the world and help you form better decisions.  Cells need water to regenerate so, a little like plants, without regular water we will slowly wither away, health will deteriorate and eventually we’ll die!

 

Clean eating, removing processed and sugary foods from your diet, will give your digestive system a happy detox.  Homemade meals with fresh local ingredients or, better still, home grown ingredients will ensure heart, cell and brain health.  A balanced diet is proven to decrease your risk of many cancers and increase your life expectancy so get to it!

Take better care of yourself, look and feel more beautiful and enjoy life, longer.


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Stop Feeling Dehydrated w/ this Essential Guide

Did you know that most people are dehydrated? That’s what the doctors in America say, anyway. But it’s not exactly a difficult thing to believe, when you think about it. After all, how many people do you know drink as much water as they should? Or drink an abundance of sugary drinks? Or swear off water altogether, claiming that it’s “boring”?

People see “dehydration” as something anyone would instantly recognize. That your mouth would feel like an arid desert, that your throat would be sore, and that maybe you’d even start seeing things. But low-level dehydration is commonplace. It results in headaches, irritability, tiredness, and cravings for sugary and salty foods, and I’m sure you know several people who fit those descriptions. You may even be familiar with it personally.

It’s strange. Dehydration is one of the easiest conditions on the planet to resolve. You just need to hydrate yourself! Here are some tips for those who are having difficulty.  

Drink more water

You need to start making a habit out of drinking water. Several people simply don’t even think about drinking water. So you should consider coming up with a plan or a schedule. Have a liter of water with you at work and aim to finish it by the end of the shift. Consider having a glass every thirty minutes.

Remember that coffee and tea also provide you with a good amount of water. That the dehydrating properties of caffeine cancels out the water is a myth! I can hear the coffee addicts rejoicing now!

Drink cleaner water

One of the reasons most find it weird that people don’t drink more water is that you get it for free from a tap. But the fact is that a lot of tap water out there isn’t particularly safe. There’s also a metallic taste to a lot of it that puts people off.

Consider getting a water purifier. You can install a purifying system in your home or simply use a device to filter water as and when you need it.

Look at nutrient-rich alternatives

If you really can’t face drinking that much water, then consider tastier alternatives. Of course, this is what a lot of people do, with negative effects. (More about that in a bit!)

But the hydration you need can also be found in healthy, natural juices. You can also look at other products that are rich in nutrients. Even the foods you eat and the vitamins you take will affect how your body absorbs the water you take in. Stores like Mr Vitamins have plenty of these sorts of items.

 

Avoid sugary drinks

Sugary, caffeinated drinks will just make you thirstier. All the additives and sugars you find in those kinds of drinks disrupt your body’s ability to absorb water. A lot of people turn to drinks like Coca-Cola when they’re feeling thirsty. It may provide temporary relief, but the long-term effects can be devastating. After all, these drinks are loaded with calories!


What’s worse is that the sugar rush you get from these drinks fades quickly. Soon afterwards, your blood sugar levels crash dramatically. This causes you to crave more sugar not too long after you finished the drink, and of course, this makes you want to reach for another one!


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