No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we love the four seasons of a British year, we have to be honest; the winter months are pretty grim. Sure, the festive season is fun, and it’s an excuse to hibernate by the fire by a while, but we tend to find ourselves waiting for the hotter months to arrive. The Great British Summer is a wonderful institution, and we’ll all be secretly delighted when a tabloid declares us to be officially hotter than Spain in a display of misplaced jingoistic pride. (more…)
As well as all the other health benefits of water, forget all the expensive fancy fad diets and try water first. Many scientific studies now concur that water is beneficial to weight loss and maintenance. And, of course, there are all the other great properties that keeping hydrated can bring to you and your body. Last, but not least, water is totally calorie free! (more…)
Stress Awareness Month – 1st – 30th April 2017 – the importance of water
Stress Awareness Month has been actively running since 1992 and is a bigger than ever event as the years go by. Healthcare professionals meet to discuss the effects of stress on the human body, and various methods of relieving this syndrome. Statistics show that 1 in 5 visits to a doctors surgery are stress related (this includes the knock-on effects that stress causes to the body).
The modern stress epidemic is a major source of concern for all aspects of the health service in the UK. It has apparently reached such a high level due to the demanding lifestyles that most of us lead. Coping with stress can be devastating to the individual and to families around them, and can lead to people not being able to cope with even the slightest problem without it seeming a mountain to climb.
Individuals who do not suffer from stress, simply don’t understand it, and this can be a contentious issue in the workplace and the family environment.
Water – a potential salvation for stress
Managing stress will always be difficult for most, but there is a potential relief in the form of water. It is not ‘cure all’, but it will certainly help this debilitating illness – and yes, it is an illness. Water will not make your problems go away and it certainly won’t pay your bills, but coping with stress is small steps all of the way. Water is a relatively cheap commodity in the UK, so it won’t add to your stress of money worries.
Dehydration when under stress is a common factor within sufferers. Stress, caused by the release of too much cortisol, the stress hormone, will make your heart rate go off the scale, your breathing become more rapid and heavy – this automatically creates loss of fluid as your organs are having to work so hard to keep up. It is imperative to stay in a hydrated situation as you will only increase the stress in your body if you don’t drink – just a small amount of fluid loss (around ½ litre) will increase cortisol levels and your body will react to it, in ever increasing circles. Considering that a lot of people don’t have enough fluid intake anyway, this is a potentially dangerous situation. As this is a vice-versa situation (ie. stress causes dehydration, dehydration causes stress), water is paramount to break the cycle.
During stressful times, you are even more likely to lose track of what you have eaten or drank, so fluids and hydrating foods are essential in order for you to perform both physically and mentally.
The ‘Knock-on effects’
Stress could be only the beginning of further complications in your life and cause the lack of vital nutrients in your body. Here are some instances where water is essential in the treatment of stress and the knock-on effects.
Stress can lead to depression. Drinking enough water will keep the body replenished and keep the supply of serotonin (neurotransmitter that affects moods) at the correct level.
Stress often causes sleeplessness. In order to produce melatonin, (sleep regulator hormone) you must have a supply of water at the right intake.
Under stress, you can frequently suffer from lack of concentration due to the many tasks you feel you have to overcome. Good water supply to the brain is essential to allow you to retain and process new information and handle current and new projects as they appear.
For more information on Stress, anxiety and depression take a look at the Moodzone on the NHS website – click here
At HydrateM8, we focus on the importance of nutritious food and hydration every single day of your waking life. We are delighted that this focus is highlighted in the UK in the form of National Nutrition and Hydration Week, sponsored by the NHS and major corporate brands in the field, such as Nestle and Tetley. (more…)
Our bodies produce certain nutrients naturally, but in other instances we need a little more help in the form of food intake to boost the missing minerals. We do need water, there is no doubt, but it doesn’t necessarily provide everything essential to a healthy balanced life.
There are two essential nutrients that we need, that water (in particular tap water and some bottled waters) cannot supply – potassium and sodium, which can potentially be critical if they are missing from our bodies. In a normal functioning body, you should have the proper balance of both, but this is not always the case.
Sodium and potassium levels are not something that is generally looked for in blood tests, unless symptoms are showing, such as dehydration, muscle weakness, fatigue or fainting. People suffering from eating disorders, such as bulimia, will often have a potassium deficiency.
Around 85% of sodium is found in the blood and lymph fluid. The hormone ‘aldosterone’, made by the adrenal glands, partly controls sodium levels. This hormone mechanism lets the body know when to hold on to sodium – pretty clever stuff! This hormone will let the kidneys know when to retain sodium rather than expelling it as urine. Small amounts of sodium are also lost through the skin when you sweat.
Whether you sweat or not, at some point in time, particularly after a stomach illness that causes sickness and diarrhoea, you will be lacking in sodium. This important electrolyte has to be replaced.
Have you ever wondered why one of the first things that doctors do if you are hospitalised is put you on a saline drip? It is to prevent dehydration and to restore your electrolyte balance so that they can treat you correctly. Many people don’t even realise that.
So what do we mean by ‘salt’ or sodium? We certainly don’t mean copious amounts of refined table salt thrown all over your dinner. The best salts to use are:
- Iodised (this also provides regulation for your thyroid)
- Kosher (lighter, flakier and good to cook with)
- Sea Salt/Rock Salt (best for flavouring)
- Himalayan Salt (strangely pink in colour but contains 84% trace minerals)
Whichever way you look at it and what your preferences are, it is better to keep around the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of 6g.
Be very aware however, that if you are a ‘grab and eat’ type of person, or have lots of ‘ready meals’ in the fridge or freezer for speed, that the majority of these contain relatively high levels of sodium.
Potassium is an electrolyte which helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body, and to transmit electrical pulses which allow for correct muscle and nerve function.
There are many foodstuffs that can be included in your diet keep potassium levels steady. Such foods are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Jacket potatoes
- Kiwi fruit
- Spinach, Swiss chard and other dark leafy greens
- White beans
You can make up some delicious and nutritious meals just out of those food items, PLUS, you are enjoying hydration and other nutrients from the fruits and vegetables at the same time! Recommended daily intake of potassium is 3,500mg.
Another recommendation in terms of fluid intake is coconut water. The main nutrient in coconut water is potassium. It supplies you with 600 mg (12% DV) making it a high electrolyte drink to consume.
Coconut water also has a trace amount of sodium, and up to 10% of your daily calcium and magnesium necessary levels.
So the moral of the story is – intersperse your water hydration with coconut water – you will get the top up of potassium and other nutrients that you need. What’s more, is that it goes really well in our Hydratem8 bottles!
Drinking plenty of water during and after pregnancy is a key factor in ensuring that you don’t have nine months of misery and will give you a great chance of a smooth and healthy pregnancy.
Of course, many women have a trouble-free pregnancy and you may even have optimal hydration, but here are some reminders as to why water is one of your best friends during what should be one of the happiest times of your life. (more…)
At some point in our lives, we will be touched by cancer, whether it be to your own body, or one of your family, friends or work colleagues.
Treatment for cancer sufferers can be extremely debilitating, particularly in terms of drugs currently used in its treatment, such as chemotherapy. It is vitally important that both diet and hydration are considered as part of the treatment therapy, as no doubt, the provision of such strong drugs will have other effects on your body. (more…)
Staying hydrated is imperative for keeping a healthy mind and body, and there are 12 signs and symptoms of dehydration which you must watch out for. Since the biggest indication of your hydration levels is the colour of your pee, we’ve put together a ‘healthy pee chart’ for you to download. (more…)
Apart from the frequent scaremongering, mainly created by the bottled water industry, there is nothing wrong with drinking UK tap water – on the contrary.
If drinking expensive bottled water is your penchant as you prefer the taste, or you believe it to be ‘better for you’ – it’s time you gave tap water a second shot. (more…)
Here at HydrateM8, we have recently had a flurry of emails regarding keeping hydrated during difficult shift patterns, particularly in the nursing world, but there are many other occupations where hydration is the last thing on anyone’s mind. By the time you realise that your mouth is dry, your lips may also be dry and starting to crack, you are already in the throes of dehydration.
Night shifts are particularly difficult – you are in an ‘ethereal world’ when you know that most people are sleeping, and there can be an eerie silence, even if you are rushed off your feet tending patients, or concentrating on complicated machinery. (more…)