So simple yet so important! We all should be drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, but this could be more if you are more physically active or during hot weather. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
Proper hydration enables all of our body’s systems to function properly. If you are approaching menopause and experiencing hot flushes and sweating, you already need to consider drinking a bit more.
Lets think about some of those common midlife issues and consider the role hydration has to play
Aches and pains – water is needed to produce and maintain the viscosity (slipperiness) of your synovial fluid – the body’s own WD40. Without it, the joint movements can become a bit creaky, and we all start making *that noise* when we get up out of a chair.
Fatigue – the muscles also need water in order to be metabolically effective at a cellular level. So without that water – the muscles feel heavy, tired and can even begin to cramp. Its also important to help the muscles recover after a workout.
Brain Fog – The brain is 80% water and oversee’s all of the conscious and unconscious activity of the body, including movement, cognition, memory, emotion and behaviour. Lack of water can make you feel tired and will delay your reaction times. The experience of pain also occurs in the brain, and its thought that dehydration can also make pain worse – headaches, muscles aches, back pain. So next time you have the afternoon slump – reach for the water first, rather than the coffee and biscuits.
Constipation – Water helps to keep the stools soft making it easier to eliminate. Without it, you may have to strain and this isn’t great for your pelvic floor. More broadly speaking, water helps your digestive system to dissolve nutrients so that you can absorb more of the goodness from your healthy diet.
Stress – Your monkey brain sees dehydration as a threat to the body so will increase cortisol levels to try and get you to go off into the desert in search of water. But you don’t do that, because this is 2019 and you don’t need to do that. So the cortisol is running around your system making you feel stressed out – tense muscles, increased heart rate, sweaty palms and a brain that is trying to protect you by seeing the danger in everything. Just take a stroll over to the tap and keep that stress cascade at bay.
Have a look at my recent Facebook live to see what I do to make sure I get those millilitres in everyday….