The Importance of staying hydrated.

Refreshing water
Photo by PhotoMix Company at Pixabay

To keep our bodily functions working at optimal levels it is important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water keeps our skin in good condition and prevents the development of conditions such as urinary tract infections, constipation, and kidney stones.

What function in our body does water provide?

  • Cells use water
  • Water helps to regulate our body temperature with respiration and perspiration.
  • Our joints use water for lubrication
  • It helps us to consume food by providing saliva that breaks food down
  • Urine flushes away toxins
  • It is a shock absorber for the spinal cord, the brain and the foetus

How much water do we need to drink each day?

The recommended guidelines are 6 to 8 glasses a day. This doesn’t have to be water. You can make up the glasses of liquid with tea, coffee, fruit drinks and milk. Just be careful with your sugar and caffeine consumption.

Flavoured teas are a good way to make drinking water tastier, adding lemon to water or using low-sugar cordials.

Some liquid is also provided as food and will count in your liquid consumption. Try soups or broths without cream or eat vegetables like cucumbers, celery and tomatoes or fruits like melon.

What affects hydration levels?

  • Age. Older adults don’t feel as thirsty and therefore may forget to drink enough
  • Alcohol. When we drink alcohol, we pass urine more than usual. This means our bodies will dehydrate at a faster level. Try to remain hydrated by drinking water too.
  • Exercise. Make sure you drink water during and after exercise as our bodies lose a lot of water through perspiration and sweating as a result of the exercise you do
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting can also cause dehydration. If you are ill, try sipping small amounts of water

Can I tell if I am Dehydrated?

Yes. You can look at your urine. Light-coloured urine means you are not dehydrated. If you have yellow or deep yellow urine, then you are dehydrated and you need to drink.

You may also be suffering from dehydration if you:

  • Feel dizzy
  • Have a dry mouth
  • Feel thirsty
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Have a headache
  • Suffer from dry eyes or mouth
  • Only urinating small amounts each time you go to the toilet

You might be suffering from a Urinary tract infection (UTI) if you have pain when you urinate and you should see your doctor.

How do I know if my skin is dehydrated?

If your skin lacks water, you might have a dull complexion with tight, itchy, and sensitive skin. Fine lines and wrinkles may appear more prominent and so will dark circles or sunken eyes.

Lifestyle choices like smoking and using skin care products with harsh chemical ingredients often have an effect on your skin.

How can I treat dehydrated skin?

The skin care company, Eucerin has developed a useful skin routine that you can use day and night.

Morning and night routine

Cleanse, tone and hydrate your skin using a cleansing gel, toner, and a moisture booster. Use eye cream for dark circles and moisturise using day cream or night cream.

Tips for keeping your skin hydrated are:

  • Drink enough liquid
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid harsh cleansing products
  • Moisturise day and night
  • Exfoliate once a week
  • Maintain a healthy diet

By making sure you are hydrated you are looking after your body and your skin.

If you want to talk to the pharmacy about the best skin products for hydration, have a chat with a member of staff here at VSM Pharmacy.

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