Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health, and for the skin! Water is required by every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies to perform their functions; from acting as a solvent to dissolve necessary chemicals; to transporting nutrients and hormones around, as well as taking waste chemicals to the kidneys and to the skin for excretion, during detoxification. Water is a key component required by our joints for lubrication and ease of movement.
It is commonly recommended that drinking between 6-8 glasses of water a day is ideal for optimal health. A very important function that relates directly to skin appearance is the fact that water is required to keep the cells at the correct internal pressure and ‘plumped-up’thereby improving skin tone and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. If your skin is not getting an adequate supply of water, the lack of hydration will make your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling and damage.
Are you getting enough water? If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is light yellow in colour, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated. Other signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Extreme thirst
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Stiff joints
Useful tips to keeping yourself hydrated:
- Keep a bottle of water with you during the day.
- If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime.
- Include plenty of water-loaded foods in your diet e.g. soups, fresh juicy fruit.
- Drink water before, during and after a workout.
- Alcohol and caffeine containing tea and coffee are diuretic and have a dehydrating effect on the body. Limit yourself to one or two of these drinks a day and have a glass of water to drink at the same time, to compensate for the loss of water.
- When you feel hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan as some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
- If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour. For those who are tech savvy, you may wish to try the App called Aqualert that sends daily reminders and alerts to motivate you to drink water; it keeps a log of your daily water intake. It is available for free through the App Store and Google Play.