The benefits of hydration
When it comes to healthy habits, there is one easy, obvious and frequently overlooked action we can all take: stay hydrated. Your body is mostly water, so your fluid levels can affect your physical and mental well-being much more than you may think. It’s time to focus on the benefits of hydration.
You’re probably familiar with well-known signs of dehydration - headaches, lightheadedness, muscle cramps - but these are actually severe symptoms. Mild dehydration is much more common than generally assumed and causes a wide range of common ailments.
Fluid levels probably aren’t the first thing you think of when resolving digestive issues, joint pain or fatigue but it can be a major contributor for all three.
The fact is that water is the key element for many of our body’s main processes. Having enough water is vital for everything, from getting our brain cells to communicate to carrying essential oxygen and nutrients around the body. It keeps our skin healthy, our digestive system functioning and our joints lubricated. All these functions can struggle if your hydration levels drop.
Improve your brain performance
Many people are aware that dehydration can cause headaches but did you know that it can also affect brain performance? Research has shown that adding a few glasses of water every day can boost cognition, combat anxiety and improve memory.
From a mental health perspective, higher hydration levels have also been linked with a more positive mood. Dehydration causes higher cortisol levels - the stress hormone. Stay hydrated to feel better equipped to handle everyday issues.
Get more energy
A key benefit of hydration is better blood circulation. Dehydration slows down your circulation and impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain. This means that your heart has to use more energy and work harder to pump oxygen around your body, leading to increased fatigue.
Having good circulation also means that your body will be more efficient at flushing out toxins and impurities.
Avoid digestive discomfort
Many common digestive problems can stem from a lack of hydration. Heartburn, bloating and other discomforts can all be kept at bay by increasing your fluids. Water is needed to digest food properly and aids in breaking down soluble fibre, helping to keep your digestion processes in order.
Decrease joint pain
70-80% of your joint cartilage is made up of water. Synovial fluid, a gel-like liquid, lubricates and cushions joints to give a smooth, friction-free motion for joints all over your body. When you’re dehydrated, there’s less fluid and less lubrication, leading to increased joint pain.
So, how much water should I be drinking?
Essentially, you need to replace the amount of fluid that your body loses each day. While this can vary, for adults this is commonly around 6-8 glasses or 1.5 - 2 litres of liquid a day. Children need slightly less. If you are doing a lot of physical activity or live in a hot climate, you’ll need a little more.
If water isn’t to your taste, try herbal tea
It’s worth noting that water isn’t the only way to get the benefits of hydration. If you struggle to get excited about a glass of H2O, it might be time to try a non-caffeinated tea. Herbal teas can give the perfect hydration boost and provide a moment to pause and be tranquil during our busy lives- which is why The Glass House offers unlimited supplies to all our guests.
If you don’t already have a favourite, here are three to try:
Once prescribed as a cure for anxiety, chamomile tea has a sweet and gentle flavour. It’s rich in antioxidants that are known to benefit a healthy heart and may help you get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Pronounced ‘roy-boss’ and commonly known as ‘redbush’, this South African tea is a great replacement for breakfast tea. With a mild and aromatic flavour, it’s also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory in nature, improving the health of the heart, skin and bones.
Well-known to help with digestion, peppermint tea can also provide relief from colds, ward off nausea and give you fresher breath. Peppermint leaves contain flavenoids, vitamins and minerals which support the immune system.
Take care of your holistic self at The Glass House
Discovering the benefits of hydration and other healthy habits is one thing, now you have to put them into practice. And there’s no better place to do this than The Glass House.
Through a combination of nutrition, wellness and mindfulness, you’ll notice the difference in your mental and physical wellbeing. Come away from your stay feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, guided by healthy habits to take care of your holistic self.