This week featured World Water Day.
Water is certainly a very precious commodity. Two-thirds of the global population (4.0 billion people)live under conditions of severe water scarcity at least 1 month of the year. Half a billion people in the world face severe water scarcity all year round. Half of the world’s largest cities experience water scarcity.
Here in the UK we are lucky enough to have more than enough water most of the year, filling our reservoirs and rivers. Furthermore, we are blessed with water that, even though it may be loaded with fluoride, chlorine and many other chemicals, is clean and is delivered straight to our taps.
And yet many people do not drink enough water. The recommended amount is 2.5ltrs per day for a man, and 2ltrs for a woman, but this can vary according to your size and how much exercise you do.
Studies show that most Britons do not achieve that, preferring instead to drink tea and coffee. There is a difference of opinion as to whether tea and coffee can be included in the amount of fluid consumed, but from a Naturopathic point of view, we would say that caffeinated drinks are very dehydrating, therefore your 2-2.5 ltrs should be of non-sweetened, non-caffeinated drinks.
Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:
- Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
- Helps regulate your body temperature
- Lubricates and cushions joints
- Protects sensitive tissues
The effects of dehydration can include:
- A slow metabolism
- Dry, aging skin
- Poor concentration and cognitive function
So, how to ensure you get your 2.5ltrs per day? Start every day with 2 mugs of hot water, adding the juice of half a lemon to the 2nd one. This starts to rehydrate your whole system and kickstarts the liver and digestive system.
Keep a 1.5ltr bottle of water with you, and make sure that you have finished it by the end of the day. If you don’t like water or find it boring, try adding slices of lemon or ginger or invest in a water bottle with a fruit infuser. Try varying the temperature – some people find it easier to drink more if the water is lukewarm rather than cold. Herbal teas also contribute to your recommended 2 – 2.5ltrs.