All about hydration with Aurélie Canzoneri, naturopath
Hydration. It's a huge subject.
When we talk about hydration, we tend to think about the moisturizing creams and lotions we apply to the face and body. And of course, this is a good thing to do if you want to help keep your skin beautiful and supple.
But we should also think about hydration from within. For me, this is the most basic, but also the most important, beauty step. Nothing is more effective than the water we drink to hydrate our skin and body.
The human body is made up mainly of water, which is vital for the body's survival. The simple act of drinking water enables us to do the following (in the absence of specific medical conditions, of course):
- Hydrate the skin and body.
- Improve skin's beauty (a more beautiful complexion and fewer blemishes), suppleness, and elasticity.
- Prevent headaches.
- Help prevent urinary tract infections.
- Help keep the digestive system moving, and in doing so flush out toxins that have built up.
- Lose weight.
- Regulate body temperature.
- Stay in shape, and even boost energy levels.
- Improve your physical performance.
- Improve concentration.
- Activate digestive enzymes (to do this, you must remember to drink water before your meal, as drinking during or just after your meal will dilute these enzymes and could prevent you from digesting your food well).
- Avoid snacking (get into the habit of drinking water rather than snacking, to avoid emotional eating).
- It is also said that water helps you to clarify your thoughts, and manage stress and emotions.
But if you're one of those people who tends to forget to drink water, what could help you to remember? How could you drink more?
Some people rarely or never feel thirsty, and this can be dangerous, as water is something your body needs. You mustn't wait until your body tells you that you need water before giving it any – by that time it's too late, as it's a sign that your body is already dehydrated.
Unfortunately, there is no miracle solution. At first, you have to force yourself to drink. These tips and tricks may help...
- At the start of the day, fill a 1.5 liter drinking bottle with water and push yourself to not just empty it by the end of the day, but also to drink regularly throughout the day. Many people forget to drink frequently and end up having one large drink of water in the evening. This is very bad for the body, as the kidneys have to work even harder to filter this abundance of water that has been gulped down suddenly. The best thing to do is to drink a little and often all day long, so you never feel that your body is crying out for hydration.
- There are mobile phone apps that send you notifications reminding you to drink.
- You could get your colleagues, family or friends involved, so that everyone encourages everyone else to drink more water! Set each other challenges and targets. This will help you to feel supported!
- Make sure you get your children into the habit of always having a drinking bottle with them when they go out, and drinking water regularly. Remember: good habits start young!
- You can get water bottles with time markers, so that you know how much you should have drunk by 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., etc. For me, this is one of the best solutions, as you have a visual tool with clear objectives.
The fact remains that some people do not like water. Others find that water makes them feel nauseous, or even disgusted. One example is pregnant women with morning (or all day) sickness. If you find it difficult to drink water, there are ways to get around this. You could put a few drops of lemon juice in your drinking bottle or glass. I'm not talking about a whole lemon, or lemon essential oil, or even bottled lemon juice (unless it's organic!). Just a few drops squeezed from an organic lemon, to add a dash of flavor. If you don't like lemon, what about some mint or basil leaves instead? Or even a few drops of floral water (chamomile, rosemary, orange blossom, etc.)?
In my opinion, drinking tea or herbal tea is not as good as drinking plain water, and will simply complement the water that you should drink every day. Don't forget that only water can quench your thirst properly. It's also best to drink water at room temperature or lukewarm, so your body doesn't have to put too much effort into getting this liquid down to body temperature.
Another way to add water to your body is by eating water-rich vegetables every day. (It goes without saying that you should adapt to the seasons and food allergies!) Good examples are cucumbers, tomatoes, celery sticks, zucchini, watermelons, melons, lettuces, strawberries, and radishes.
Credits : Louise Skadhauge