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Are you Dehydrated?

Are You Dehydrated?

It can be a challenge to drink enough water – especially during winter!

Many people who come into the clinic are dehydrated leading to all sorts of health problems.

Fatigue, confusion, memory loss, dizziness, dry wrinkled skin, constipation, eczema, headaches, urinary tract infections, and muscle cramps and pains, low blood pressure are some of the signs of dehydration. If you suffer from any of the these, you may not be drinking enough water.

Your body is made up of around 70% water, which is involved in every bodily function.

Adequate hydration is essential for sustaining optimal physiological and psychological health. Every cell and organ depends upon water. Unfortunately dehydration is a common problem in the general population and many are frequently dehydrated.

Physical performance

Body water deficits as little as 2% body weight can impair physical performance, reduce endurance and aerobic capacity, increase fatigue and cause cramps and spasms.

Cognitive performance

Mild levels of dehydration have been found to affect mood and cognitive function, including concentration and alertness. Dehydration can trigger brain fog. If you’re feeling confused or forgetful, try drinking more water.

Digestive health

Inadequate water intake can lead to constipation causing your stomach to feel bloated and an overgrowth of fermented bacteria, as well as other digestive problems.

Skin health

Increasing water intake improves skin hydration, thickness and density. Water helps to move the products of digestion through the colon, preventing toxins leaching into your blood supply and affecting your skin.

Kidney health

Drinking sufficient water helps protect and support kidney function especially when consuming a high salt diet or when excessive toxins need to be eliminated. If your face is puffy, and you have sunken eyes with dark circles, your kidneys could be in distress.

Chronic disease

Maintaining good hydration may have positive effects on a diverse range of chronic health conditions.

In general, you need about 2 litres of water a day. If you are exercising, pregnant, or breastfeeding you will need more. Urine colour can indicate if you are dehydrated – if it’s dark urine increase your intake.

Sometimes we think we are hungry when actually we are thirsty. Before reaching for that extra snack, drink a glass of water. Pure water acts as an appetite suppressant.

Improving your hydration

  • Squeeze fresh juice from fruits such as lemon or orange – a healthy option to flavour water. Herbs such as mint give water a nice flavour too.
  • Some people like drinking hot water (boiled from the kettle not from the tap) as it is more warming in winter.
  • Lemon juice in warm water is a healthy way to start the day as it is cleansing for the liver.
  • Increase herbal teas including peppermint, chamomile, ginger, lemon balm.
  • Increase fresh fruit and vegetables with a naturally high water content to add to overall hydration.
  • Reduce intake of coffee, tea, alcohol and soft drinks, as well as salty foods.
  • Keep that plastic-free water bottle with you at all times.

Of course there are many other contributing factors to the above health conditions.

If you have any concerns call for a chat or book in for an appointment on 0403 755 584 or Book Online.

Angela McTaggart
Qualified Clinical Naturopath
Brunswick Naturopathy

Angela McTaggart - Naturopath, Brunswick Naturopathy