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Is your glass half full or half empty?

We know the benefits of hydration, but what exactly happens to the body when dehydration occurs?

Is your glass half full or half empty?

We don’t go a day without cleaning our teeth, feeding the dog, eating breakfast, taking a shower (well we assume that’s the case) or watching our daily dose of Netflix. However, we somehow struggle to complete one simple task necessary for survival and optimal health… drinking the recommended amount of water each day.

The importance of water to the body is vastly underestimated. Blood is composed of 82% water, the human brain is composed of 95% water and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Water is required for the dissolution, transportation and absorption of nutrients in the body. Additionally, it aids the body in regulating temperature and eliminating waste products. H20 is the single most critical nutrient for growth and development and going without it is detrimental to our health.

There’s no doubt when mental fatigue or exhaustion hits we’ll choose a daily cup of coffee over the good stuff any day. However, regularly drinking several litres of water during the day may save our reliance on an addictive hit of caffeine.

Dehydration can cause headaches, feeling of lethargy and cognitive impairment.   Dehydration, according to The ConversationToby Mündel, Senior Lecturer, School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, can result in poor concentration, headaches, tiredness and in, severe cases, kidney failure and even death.

Feelings of thirst often occur when the body is already dehydrated: “At a cellular level, ‘shrinkage’ occurs as water is effectively borrowed to maintain other stores, such as the blood. The brain senses this and triggers an increased sensation of thirst,” Mündel told The Conversation. 

At this point, the blood becomes more concentrated and this triggers the kidneys to retain water. The blood becomes thicker and affects the efficiency of the cardiovascular system in maintaining blood pressure. In terms of physical performance, dehydration can reduce endurance; inhibit muscular responses and cause muscle cramping. In short, we need to be drink up.

But what should we be drinking? Water is second to none when it comes to rehydration and maintaining proper health. The difficulty for most is finding the right way to turn drinking water into habit. Health professionals recommend carrying a refillable water bottle with you to ensure you regulate and monitor your water consumption.

BPA-free options are always the best and products like the BRITA fill&go Vital provide an easy filtered water option for all occasions. Filtering while you drink, the fill&go Vital range turns regular tap water into filtered water wherever you go.

The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia recommend that adult men should be consuming 2.6L and adult women 2.1L a day of fluids including plain water, milk and other drinks.

For those of us who struggle with consuming the recommended daily dose, drinking filtered, great tasting water ensures that we see the full health benefits of proper hydration.

WaterAid Australia reveals that 560 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. So for those of us lucky enough to turn on a tap and enjoy an endless stream of H20, let’s not take advantage of our privileged situation.

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