Among the criticisms of 21st century smartphone lifestyle, health monitoring apps have been a huge positive. From pedometers to calorie trackers and apps to encourage you as you give up smoking, we have new insights into our health and well-being at our fingertips. Hydration apps are currently all the rage; as a nation we habitually do not drink enough water and suffer the effects of dehydration without really understanding why.
What is dehydration and why should we avoid it?
Human bodies are over 60% water – and our brain tissue is 85% water – so it is vital we regularly replenish our fluids to flush out waste products and keep our organs functioning. Dehydration occurs when this does not happen; common signs are dark or infrequently passed urine, headaches, lethargy, poor concentration and irritability. Dry skin and lips are also signs that we are not getting enough fluids to keep our body in tip top form. We often mistake thirst signals for hunger, causing snacking on food we don’t need, leading to weight gain and a sense of ‘needing something’ that we can’t satisfy.
There are a number of myths surrounding fluid intake and a common error is to think that caffeinated drinks – tea, coffee and many fizzy pops – do not count towards our fluid intake at all. Current NHS fluid intake guidelines suggest that they do but that water, milk and fruit juices will have the overall greatest benefits to your physical health.
5 benefits of being properly hydrated.
The great news is that we can easily improve our health and even our looks with by drinking roughly 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day. Since water is free, it is the cheapest way of making a significant different to your physical condition without any extra effort.
- Our skin loves water; being properly hydrated reduces wrinkles and plumps out fine lines, giving us better, smoother skin that will be receptive to additional beauty products that add the final touches.
- Drinking ice cold water will raise your metabolism, causing your body to spend a few calories on warming it up. It’s a subtle difference but every little helps.
- Good hydration improves concentration and reduces stress, helping you get more from your working day and having more mental and physical energy for your free time.
- If you enjoy exercise, good hydration will keep you going longer, help avoid muscle cramps and improve muscle recovery afterwards.
- We need water to remove waste and impurities from our system; if our body is clean and has flushed toxins through, our skin benefits, leaving it clean and glowing.
Within the app market, there are ones which will tally up your overall fluid intake and count it towards your daily goal and ones which will discount tea and coffee, so pick one that will help you move towards a healthier lifestyle rather than one that will demoralise you or put you off trying to improve. It’s the perfect way to take control of one of the simplest – and most effective – ways of managing your health.