💧Dehydration is dangerous any month of the year but particularly dangerous during the summer months. We can’t possibly perform day to day tasks effectively while we are dehydrated, so this can lead to making silly mistakes on mundane activities and potentially dangerous mistakes while operating machinery or even driving a car.
💧Dehydration can lead to brain fog, forgetfulness, confusion, muscle cramping, blurred vision, dry eyes and lethargy. If you have a physical job, even seemingly simple tasks can really zap what little energy you have from you.
💧Dehydration can reduce performance by 20% on a standard day (even in Winter) and up to 40% on a hot day! A 40% decrease in performance and productivity just makes for a difficult day and not a lot to show for it. Dehydration can lead to reduced brain function and just a 2% decrease in brain function can result in short term memory loss or trouble solving simple equations.
💧Whilst we can’t change the weather or the heatwave we are currently experiencing, we can all take care to monitor our water intake to give our body a fighting chance. Drinking small amounts at very regular intervals throughout the day (at least every hour of the waking day) can help prevent the body becoming dehydrated.
💧If you become chronically dehydrated, you can develop other health conditions varying from nausea, sickness and dizziness, through to loss of kidney function and necessary hospital treatment.
💧How do we know we are thirsty?
By the time our brain registers that we are thirsty and we experience the classic signs of dry mouth, tiredness or dizziness, we are already dehydrated. The urge to drink is regulated by a negative feedback system in the body.
Special sensors in the hypothalamus in the brain are constantly monitoring the bloods concentration of sodium and other substances. If the water volume of the body falls below a certain threshold or the sodium concentration becomes too high, the hypothalamus detects changes in the blood and signals thirst.
💧Reasons to Stay Hydrated:
For better brain function - the brain needs water to function and by remaining hydrated we improve concentration and productivity
For better energy - If you find yourself yawning, you’re probably dehydrated. Drink some water to remain alert and awake.
To maintain healthy bones - our bones are made up of 50% water and we need water for new bone cells and also to maintain healthy bone levels
To maintain healthy skin - water helps keep the skin fresh and supple, while helping to flush out impurities (blemishes). The skin is the last organ to receive water and nutrients after the internal organs take what they need. Any minor change in your skin is often a good indication that the body itself is probably not receiving enough water
To boost metabolism - we often mistake hunger for thirst, which affects the regulation of our appetite. Drink plenty of water to keep your metabolism at optimum function.
To help flush toxins - drinking water helps boost the liver and kidneys, so they can do a more efficient job of detoxifying the body
💧Perhaps the most important reason right now is to help the body keep cool and regulate its temperature. As we sweat, we lose salt and water from the body, which needs replacing in the water we drink. On a very hot day, you should aim to increase your usual water intake by 50% and this should be an absolute minimum of three litres in total for the day, on the basis that we should drink two litres a day all year round.
💧If you’re not a fan of plain water on its own, why not add some sliced fruit? 🍉🍋🍊🥝🍓
💧If this blog makes even one person increase their water intake this week, our job here is done and we will be happy. We are off to cool down and gently remind ourselves not to complain because it will be raining before we know it!!
💧Tips to help you stay cool:
- Increase water intake by at least 50% and drink little and often
- Increase this further if you are spending time in direct sunlight
- Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go to encourage regular rehydration
- Wear loose, light coloured clothing, made from natural fabrics where possible
- Wear sunglasses not only for UV protection but to reduce the risk of dry eyes too
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake or follow each cup or glass with a glass of water to rehydrate between drinks
- Eat foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, lemon, grapes, leafy greens and berries.
- Open all windows first thing in the morning to let out the heat from the night before, but as the sun moves around to them it may be best to close them and close blinds
- Open your loft hatch, if you have access to one, as hot air rises. This helps keep the upper floor cooler.
- Replace your duvet with a sheet or just the cover, and place your pillowcase in the fridge to cool it down before bed
- Apply a cold compress to your neck and wrists at regular intervals throughout the day
- Put toner or water spray in the fridge to spritz over your face at regular intervals
- Place skincare products in the fridge and keep make-up to a minimum
- Put after sun in the fridge in case you experience a little too much sun and suffer with sunburn
- Take a warm shower and slowly reduce the temperature to cool. If you step into an ice cold shower it can shock the body and prevent it from cooling down. We need to reduce the heat gradually.
- Try to keep electrical items such as TV’s, washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers, ovens, grills etc to a minimum as these will all give off heat.
- Place a bowl of cold water under a fan to help prevent hot air circulating the room
- Drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty
💧Enjoy the sunshine while we can and we look forward to seeing you soon.