H2O – The essence of life
With 60-70% of the human body being made up of water and every cell needing it to stay healthy and alive, it stands to reason that failing to replace the liquid that we lose in the form of urine and sweat each day will have detrimental effects on our health.
Water is vital to many of the body’s natural functions including waste elimination and the regulation of temperature. Dehydration, although particularly dangerous for the very young and the very old, can take its toll on all of us. Headaches, tiredness and the loss of concentration are some of the most common early symptoms, although often we are inclined to attribute these to other causes. If nothing is done to rectify the situation, constipation and even kidney stones can be the longer-term results.
Two of the other top benefits of drinking sufficient quantities of clear, still water lie in enhancing fat loss and decreasing hunger pangs. Our bodies often misinterpret feelings of thirst for signs of hunger and so drinking water before mealtimes can help you to cut down on the amount that you eat and so help with weight loss.
So, how much water is enough? Well, that depends largely on the size of the individual, their level of physical activity and the climate. As a rough guide, however, under normal conditions the average person should aim to drink around one and a half litres or 6-8 tumbler-sized glasses per day.
Don’t fool yourself that tea, coffee and gallons of fizzy drinks will keep you in tip-top shape though. The caffeine contained in both tea and coffee acts as a diuretic which makes you lose water from your body and the sugars and artificial flavours and sweeteners contained in fizzy drinks use up your body’s supply in its effort to dilute them.
And don’t forget to bring books. When you’re tired and don’t feel like playing anymore, your child will still need to be occupied. Giving him a book will allow him to stay active and give you a break.