When you’re splashing through puddles, wiping the rain off your nose and generally getting soggy this autumn, it can be hard to remember how vital water is. In these colder months it’s far more tempting to come in from the cold and have a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe a cheeky glass of red or two, than it is to reach for a glass of water.
Here’s something that might surprise you, though – as healthy adults, up to 60 per cent of our body weight is water. Our brains and hearts are made up of 73 per cent water, while our lungs are about 83 per cent water. Our skin is 64 per cent water, kidneys and muscles are 79 per cent and amazingly, even our bones are 31 per cent water.
When you think we’re largely made of water, it makes sense why that we need to keep those levels topped in order to keep healthy. Otherwise, things can start to go wrong pretty quickly. In fact, if you’re a fan of expensive beauty creams containing weird ingredients claiming to ‘plump up and rejuvenate’, I’ll let you into one of the best and cheapest skin treatments around – water! Hydrate properly, and in no time people will be telling you you look years younger. I’m often told I look younger that I am – shame I don’t always feel it!
Water is also a vital part of our digestive system, and if you don’t drink enough you can start to see problems such as bloating and constipation.
We all need around two to three litres of water a day, and some of this we get from food like fresh fruit and vegetables. Drinking lot of water really is the best way to top up your liquid levels, as it’s pure hydration with no added extras. Almost everyone likes the odd glass of wine – purely for medicinal purposes, of course! – but drinking lots of alcohol can dehydrate you. Tea and coffee can have the same effect, particularly if you like to drink it strong. Everything’s fine in moderation, but try alternating caffeinated and alcoholic drinks with glasses of water to keep liquid levels up. If you can’t bear the thought of cold water on a cold day, try drinking it hot or warm – slice of orange or lemon optional. Aim to drink at least eight big glasses of water a day to keep everything…erm… ‘moving’!