Welcome back to another blog post, this week's post is around hydration and why it is key to life, health and of course skin.
As we know there is no one superfood or miracle cure that can make us younger unfortunately, but we can make choices in our lifestyle that can support the ageing process and long-term health.
Our skin of course is a part of that journey and very important to many of us. It is widely accepted that nutritional status with respect to both macronutrients and micronutrients is important for skin health, radiance and appearance. Evidence of this is provided by the many nutrient deficiencies resulting in significant disorders of the skin.
But what about drinking water and hydration? Can this affect us in the same way?
Just like skin care, nutrition is unique, but we still want to know how we can make our skin brighter, radiant and of course healthier.
Hydration is key to life, health and skin. Our bodies are around 50-70% of the body's contents. Water makes up around 70% of muscle mass, but only 10% of fat mass and maintaining a water balance is absolutely vital for our health and survival.
How much do you need to drink?
Fluid requirements are very individualised, depending on factors such as physical activity level, intensity and duration, age, environment, climate, sweat rates and health. However staying hydrated is very important to continue to do this all year round, especially if unwell. Aim for at least 6 to 8 glasses - drink extra if you are exercising, unwell (hot sweats and/or a bug) or in a hot environment. This does not have to be plain water; for example, some can come from water flavoured with fruit or vegetables (lemons, berries, or orange or cucumber slices), or from milk, coffee or tea.
Why is it so important?
There is so much that happens to your body when you drink water and drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and overall mood.
How does it affect physical performance?
Staying hydrated increases energy, improves movement, recovery and agility, thermoregulation, and aids in mental clarity and activity – all of which can improve physical performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
What are the common signs of dehydration?
We want to be hydrated enough to avoid these signs of dehydration.. Some may be at more risk than others of becoming hydrated. Here are a few common signs...
dark yellow and strong-smelling pee
feeling dizzy or lightheaded
a dry mouth, lips and eyes
itchy, weak, dry, tight and dull skin
peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day
Below is a quick and easy tool that I recommend to my clients to use!
How can drinking water affect our skin health?
The issue is the actual physics behind how water flows throughout our systems; drinking water is necessary for our bodies to run optimally, and to help nutrients reach the skin through proper blood flow, but not necessarily the be-all and end-all we need for radiant skin.
The truth is that when you drink water, it doesn't automatically go to the skin - it hydrates cells once absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by the kidneys. So, at the cellular level, drinking water is great as it flushes the system and hydrates our bodies overall.
While there's no hard evidence that drinking water will make a massive difference in the skin's radiance or youthfulness - remembering that water will head straight for all your other essential organs first. There is evidence when you're not getting enough water, that's where the difference in your skin will be most likely to show. The bottom line is that it can't hurt to drink plenty of water and when we do all our hormones, organs, metabolism, and moods are working well (which in turn can affect our skin) and you will at the very least prevent signs of severe dehydration like dry, tight, or itchy skin.
What can we do to make sure we are staying hydrated and maintaining it?
Here are a few tips...
Aim for at least 6 to 8 glasses each day (drink extra if you are exercising, unwell or in a hot environment).
Carry a water bottle at all times.
Choose palatable drinks (drinks that you like and taste nice, does not have to be water) - Consider milk, it's actually quite hydrating!
Check you urine colour regularly.
Don't forget about foods that contain water too! You could add fruits and veg with a high water content to your drinks or meals, to increase this. Some food sources with high water content include: Watermelon, Cucumber, Broccoli, Lettuce, Strawberries, Oranges, Soups and Stews. And most importantly ice lolly’s.
Weigh yourself before and after exercise. To work out how much you have lost (for every 1kg lost on the scales you need to drink 1.2-1.5Litres). Drink gradually rather than just in one go tho!
They key take aways here is hydration is crucial for health not just for your skin, and a lot of our body is made up of water. In turn your health will affect your skin too. The relationship between the water we drink and how it reaches our skin is a little complicated but it is still very important in keeping the signs of dehydration away. There is more ways your can maintain your hydration that just drinking plain water, what you eat can contribute to that too.
I hope you enjoyed another blog post!!
P.S. Let me know what topics you would like me to cover!
P.P.S Check out my other blogs on skin care and nutrition!