Hydration

  • Don’t throw rice water away – it prevents dehydration!

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    You may think we have lost our marbles – but honestly, rice water has some amazing health-giving properties. Yes, we mean the water that you have just cooked your rice in!

    Rice water, sometimes called Kanji in the Asian world is extremely beneficial for your body, but also for your skin and hair. It may sound strange to put that ‘gloopy’ after-cook water on your face or even into your body, but trust us, it works.

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  • The Best Reasons to Drink Water

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    It is great to see the increasing amount of people carrying water bottles, whether going to or from work, at their desk or out in the sun.The amount of water you drink is based on your body weight and your level of activity, and even the conditions under which you work and play. (more…)

  • Do you know your water from your ‘water’ !

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    Water is a lot more technical than we realise! It is governed by ‘The Codex Alimentarius’ – (bit of a tongue twister!), which is an internationally operated government practice for defining all the types of bottled water.

    The definitions are comprised of:

    • Origin
    • Composition
    • Characteristics
    • Consistency
    • Protection
    • Treatment

    Bet you never knew that! Human consumption of water is critical for our health and if you look at it logically, why shouldn’t it be governed by important criteria? After all, food is, so why not water?

    So, if you don’t know your mineral from your spring or your purified from your artesian, here is a guideline of why each water is labelled accordingly. The WHO (World Health Organisation) plays an extremely active part in defining packaged water quality.

    Mineral Water

    This water must contain naturally sourced minerals – it is not allowable for minerals to be added to water, and become ‘mineral water’.The level of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and manganese will affect the taste of the water – if you notice a ‘salty taste’, this generally means that the mineral content is high. Bottled waters vary incredibly in mineral content. It must also be gleaned from underground sources, to avoid any form of pollution. Packaging or bottling is equally important – it has to be done at source, as as close to as possible. No refining or treating is allowed, with only a few exceptions (ie. removing iron traces or adding carbonation).

    Spring Water

    Spring water again should either come from a recognised underground source, or an allowable surface source, and has strict guidelines in terms of its vulnerability to pollutin and/or contamination. It must also go nowhere near a community water system.

    Purified Water

    Just what is says on the tin (or bottle!). It will have been treated to enable purification and remove any suspected toxins or bacteria. There are many brands of purified water on the supermarket shelves, but more and more people use their own purification systems at home, connected to your tap water.Purified water is also called ‘prepared water’ and is the minimum standard set for emergent nations where clean water sources are rare, thus affecting health conditions.

    Artesian Water

    The cream of the crop, and if it is accessible – drink it! Known to be far purer than mineral water, due to the fact that is comes from deeper sources and will therefore experience more natural filtering as it travels through the earth. To qualify as ‘artesian’ the water must come from a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand in which the water level is above the top. Certain brands in the UK are available.

    Sparkling (Carbonated) Water

    We all know the taste sensation of the bubbly stuff, and we don’t mean champagne! Bubbles can occur naturally from the source, but quite often are due to the addition of carbon dioxide. You choose what you prefer, but we know our thoughts on that one.

    We would like to mention well water – that is water from a well! If you are lucky enough to have one in your garden, it has hopefully been constructed properly as it should be a ground-drilled well that taps the water directly to the surface. There aren’t many of those around!

    Happy hydration!

  • All About Sodium and Hydration

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    Whilst our bodies need water, we also need sodium for maintaining healthy muscle content and also operative nerve function.

    Sodium is an electrolyte, which acts as a balancer for the fluid in both your blood and the cells that surround. Sodium is a vital agent, but like most other ‘balancers’ in our bodies, lack of, or excess can cause untold problems. When imbalance occurs, our bodies will react accordingly and you will almost certainly develop a thirst, although this is not the only symptom. (more…)

  • Nicola Sturgeon and Sky TV spearhead Deposit Return Scheme on plastic bottles

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    What happened to those wonderful clean-living days where landfills were not choc-a-block with plastic bottles and containers, and our streets, beaches, blue and green spaces were not littered with drink containers?

    (more…)

  • Water and Fibre – Perfect Partners

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    The importance of water to the human body as a hydrant is common knowledge, but are you aware of just how key it can be to aid the digestion? Fibre, in particular, passes through the body’s tract significantly easier with the assistance of cool, refreshing H2O.

    The Bluffers Guide to Fibre

    This complex carbohydrate is not automatically broken down by the body and passed through the digestive system, hence why it is a firm favourite of dieters; feeling full on zero-calorie food intake can only be a good thing. Nevertheless, fibre requires the assistance of water to be absorbed by the body or it would sit heavily within our stomachs for far longer than is healthy. The impact of these fluids depends on whether these fibres are soluble or insoluble.

    What is Soluble Fibre?

    Most abundantly sourced in fresh fruit, green vegetables and grains such as oatmeal, soluble fibres (also referred to as roughage) dissolve in water as the name suggests, resulting in the formation of a sticky fluid within the stomach lining. This may not sound attractive, but it’s actually doing you the world of good; this substance attracts unwelcome cholesterol particles and drags them away from your heart, lowering your risk of heart disease. This combination also helps keep your digestive tract healthy, as the soluble fibres slow down the passage of water from mouth to bowels via the small intestine.

    What is Insoluble Fibre?

    Insoluble Fibre is every bit as key to the body as its soluble counterpart and, while it reacts differently to water, it is equally essential that you stay hydrated when consuming this foodstuff. Typically found in seeds, wholemeal bread and rice, insoluble fibre does not break down, no matter how much we consume or how many glasses of water we willingly throw down for adequate hydration. However, these are the fibres that help keep us regular, and water will keep the process steady. Perhaps more importantly, soluble fibres act as a broom for the insides – they clean up any toxins around the digestive system as they pass through our bodies and aid in dispelling dangerous substances from your body. As water often performs the same task, remaining hydrated will keep your body even healthier as well as leaving you feeling full and sated without bloating.         

    Will Fibre Impact My Water Intake?

    Most fibre supplements will be of the soluble variety thanks to these health benefits, whilst many foods enjoy a ratio of 75:25 in favour of insoluble. To this end, if you’re going to increase your intake of this particular carbohydrate you’ll also be able to make sure you’re consuming plenty of water – failing to do so leaves you at risk of not only indigestion, but cramps and gas pains. It’s always advisable to drink at least 8 servings of water per day, and that is particularly important if you’re getting your recommended intake of the rough stuff.

    Are There Dangers to High-Fibre Diets?

    Only if you live with a medical condition that leaves you at risk of fluid overload, or another existing complaint such as IBS. It cannot be stressed how important it is to drink plenty of water to gain the benefit from consuming fibre (the aforementioned eight glasses per day is a minimum recommendation), and you should seriously look into replacing some of your other beverage choices, such as caffeinated hot drinks and fizzy pop, with clear fluids to avoid any adverse reactions. When you drink water, is as important as how much you drink, particularly if you are following a high fibre diet – sipping regularly throughout the day should ensure the smooth passage of fibre through your system, as it collects all the ‘nasties’ on its journey..

    With fibre and water both hugely important elements of any daily diet, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by ensuring that these complementary foods and fluids are a regular part of your diet.

  • Can drinking water help cure food cravings?

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    Food cravings can be a thorn in your side, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. There are two different types of cravings you may experience:

    Emotional Cravings

    Emotional cravings can stem from the desire to find comfort, feel wanted and also feelings of inadequacy or stress. When this happens, among a multitude of other reasons, the first reaction is to turn to food that satisfies you, and will often take the form of some kind of sugary substance, which as we all know, is a moment in your mouth and a whole lot of potential problems. This is compounded by the fact that thirst is more often than not confused with hunger. This triggers off messages to your brain, and the end result is usually one of total indulgence in the wrong foods. But help is at hand in the form of our old friend – water.

    Bacterial Cravings

    Now this is one set of cravings that you really can take action on. If your system is overloaded with ‘bad bacteria’ in your gut, the best and easiest way is to ‘reboot’ your system over a period of 2 weeks, with a maintenance period of 1 week at least, and go through the cleansing process. A shorter reboot is fine for a quick cleanse, but the longer you maintain this healthier lifestyle, the better you will feel and the cravings will not return. Step in your best friend – water (we probably sound boring now, but trust us, it really is true).

    Water, coupled with sensible eating, particularly fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meat will set you on the right path. Your gut contains, in laymans’ terms, a ‘mini brain’, which reacts to the microbes contained in your stomach. So it is the mini brain that sends messages from your body to your ‘real brain’. Clear out those unhealthy microbes, and the reactions will cease or become of a much lesser degree.

    So here comes water – your cleansing agent that puts your gut back into shape, coupled with the right foods as previously mentioned. We are not denying that you will need an element of iron will and discipline but truly and honestly, water can really help.

    Keep Hydrated

    Do you ever feel ‘full up’ if you drink a lot of water? Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing, its beneficial.

    Whilst the usual statements say that 8 glasses of water per day are the recommended allowance, you can go above or below this level, depending on your circumstances, but never less than 6. Water will flush out your system and keep your vital organs working, particularly those that expel toxins from the body, such as the kidneys. Most importantly in this instance, water consumed before a meal will not only cleanse the system, but will also provide feelings of satiety, thereby stopping you from overeating and clearing out the bacteria at the same time. Consuming water regularly throughout the day will also prevent sluggishness, which means that you will feel more alive and active. End result – weight loss without too much effort!

    It’s an easy equation; Good Food + cleansing (reboot) + regular hydration.

    Result will be Good Health + Energy + Clear Mind + Weight Loss.

    Sounds simple? – it can be if you put your mind to it. Start today with cleansing and regular hydration and you can turn your life round very quickly – that pair of skinny jeans or figure-hugging dress are within easy grasp!

    Drink up on tap water – after all, it’s free and just a seconds worth of effort to gain a healthy lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be great to stop craving that chocolate bar or doughnut? Check out our ‘reboot’ plan to get you on your way.

  • Feeling hot, hot, hot? Your Top 10 travel check-list

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    Chances are you are one of the 60% of Brits who have booked a summer holiday abroad and will be taking to the beaches of Europe and other destinations. But are you prepared – did you start packing your suitcase weeks ago, or are you a ‘late-packer’ who throws everything in at the last moment? If you are in the latter group, you could be at risk of forgetting some very important and essential items to keep you safe during that holiday that you have worked all year for.

    In no specific order, here are your Top 10 Essentials to pack, to give you a trouble-free time and to prevent your holiday being spoilt. We have excluded the obvious items such as passports, tickets and money (we don’t want to treat you like travelling idiots!), but whatever you do, don’t pack those items into your suitcase! If you want to be really smart, email yourself copies of all your vital documents, so if you take a laptop or smartphone, you have those details to hand in the event of loss. So pack up your dreamy summer clothes, selection of swimwear and all those things you cannot live without and get ready!

    Remember, many of the items essential for an illness free holiday are extremely expensive in the sunshine resorts, who obviously have a captive audience, so prep up before you go, it will save you a good deal of money and pain.

    The sun, as we know, creates havoc with your skin and hair, so you need to pack up a good selection of sunscreen and suntan lotions, as well as some ‘aftersun’ to soothe that beetroot skin after you go madly worshipping the golden sun on your first day and overdoing it. A strong factor sunscreen (we recommend Factor 40 for your first day and only short spells in the sun to prepare your skin) is essential to prevent you spending several days in misery in the darkness of your room. Factor 60 is highly sensible if you are travelling with children who need a deeper protection.

    A good pair of sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes in dazzling sunlight and to prevent headaches as much as possible. If you can afford it, don’t go cheap – they are pretty useless when it comes to protection against UV rays.

    Your scalp is also a highly sensitive area, prone to burning, so make sure you take a hat or cap to protect you from the rays.

    Exposure to the sun will dry out your hair severely, so take a good shampoo and conditioner. When sunbathing, slick up your hair with the conditioner for protection before lying out in hot sun.

    Mosquitos aren’t the only ‘biter’ – there are a large selection of flying insects that can bring you out in nasty, itchy lumps and bumps. Ensure you have anti-histamine or an equivalent to soothe any bites you may receive. If you can, take a ‘plug-in’ for your room – these usually contain citronella which wards off the critters, as mosquitos love a hot bedroom at night and come out with a vengeance as you slumber.

    Take a selection of items such as plasters, antibacterial creams, and sachets of tummy relief potions – chances are you could get a case of the ‘gips’ from food, contaminated water or just plain over-indulgence. Again, these can be pretty expensive abroad and can make overseas chemists very rich in the hot summer months. Add some headache tablets as well – hot sun will give you a headache, as well as too much alcohol, which will severely dehydrate you.
    If you are on any form of important medication, take a copy of your prescription with you if you need to seek a doctor at any time.
    Talking of dehydration….

    OK, we may be biased, but these can be a lifesaver whilst travelling to and from your destination, as well as being out in the hot sun. Fill up your bottles at home before you leave – you may get delayed and end up spending a fortune on bottled water, even though some airports have dedicated water containers available.
    Whilst away, fill up your bottles whenever you go out in the sun, but be aware of the conditions of local water. Your Hydratem8 bottles will be a great reminder of when you need to drink and how much. Remember, we supply smaller bottles for the children as well.

    Take some snacks when you travel, particularly for the children, who will get very grumpy when hungry. Destination hubs are always expensive for snacks, so its easy to just take some and pull out of your hand luggage when needed.

    Take a selection of plastic bags. These are useful to store items in, as well as the need for them at airport security for perfume, lotions etc. You can use them to bring back wet or dirty clothes as well. Just be careful of how you dispose of them, to take care of the environment. Remember that you will need sealable bags when going through security.

    Take an inflatable pillow – useful for longer flights, and also when the little ones get sleepy and you are away from your hotel. Make sure you go to and from your destination in loose and comfy clothes – you won’t regret it. A pack of wet wipes wouldn’t go amiss either, along with books and puzzles (for you and the kids!)

    Don’t spoil your holiday for the sake of a few items – most of all enjoy your break and keep safe and well-hydrated. Heatstroke fills up overseas hospitals more than most holiday illnesses, and keeping hydrated will help to prevent this.

  • Are we fooled by the ‘hype’ on bottled mineral water?

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    In essence, we probably are fooled – manufacturers lead us to believe that it is ‘healthier’, fresher and all other aspects to ensure that we buy.

    Bottled water hit the market around 20 years ago, and has experienced a meteoric rise since those heady days. Are the health benefits really better than tap water – the answer in all honesty, is no. Interestingly enough, after much research, the bottled water manufacturers target certain demographic groups, their main target being women in the 18-35 age group – is that you?

    These marketing gurus are ruthless – focus groups are held on a regular basis, new and more attractive packaging is produced and label content is frequently changed – apart from the actual nutritional values. Do you bother to read a water label, and if so, do you actually understand it? City commuters are prime targets who are ruthlessly marketed. Clutching the latest hyped up bottled water, do they really know if it is worth it, save from looking ‘cool’. Multi millions of pounds are spent on marketing – let’s face it – that has to be recouped from your pocket somehow.

    This argument will rage on for years to come. Are the bottles safe, should you refill them, and why on earth don’t you just have a well-manufactured reusable, environmentally-friendly bottle, filled with perfectly safe and healthy tap water, which costs you zilch in comparison? The average bottle of water can cost you £1 or more in supermarkets and even more in the smaller shops located around the big cities, as you rush for your train or throw the kids in the car, forgetting to supply a drink with their lunchbox. Fill up your HydrateM8 water bottles and leave in the fridge overnight – they can always be refilled (as can you at your place of work) – you are not in the Sahara Desert! As we have said before, British tap water ranks as one of the healthiest in the world – so use it, as some people don’t have that luxury in under-developed countries.

    Incredible Facts about bottled water

    • Did you know that pro-rata, bottled water costs more than the price of oil?
    • Bottled water first appeared in 1760, for therapeutic use – the bottles or containers however were not environmentally friendly!
    • The slowest growth rate in sales (in the world) of bottled water is the UK – are we actually ‘cottoning on’?
    • The bottled water industry is worth over 150 billion pounds – someone is making a lot of money!
    • Manufacturers have blatantly announced they are ‘waging war’ on tap water
    • Waiting staff in restaurants are encouraged to sell bottled water in order to earn in the region of £200 more in their wages per month
    • Back in 2000, Susan D. Wellington, a VP at Quaker Oats (makes Gatorade), declared, and we quote ‘when we’re done, tap water will be relegated to irrigation and washing dishes’
    • More than half of all bottled water initially comes from tap water
    • In 2009, a Gallup Poll announced that ‘fear of tap water’ was the reason for the huge increase in sales!
    • In taste tests, UK tap water rules over bottled! Frequently, consumers cannot even taste any difference
    • It takes 3 times the amount of water to make a bottle, than it does to actually fill it – how is this friendly to our ever threatened environment?
    • Rumour has it, that large manufacturers deliberately make bottled water hard to source in some third world countries – blatant commercialism to increase prices by making it unavailable

    We have to question – is the bottled water industry for health or for money-grabbing profit – one thing we do know is – turn on the tap!

  • Reasons to drink water

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    Water is a nutrient that your body always needs. Whether you drink it or consume it in your food, it doesn’t matter – as long as you are getting enough hydration. With fluid loss occurring every second of the day by skin evaporation, urine, excretion and even breathing, those lost fluids must be replaced in order to keep you tip-top health. (more…)