Drinking lots of water is the simplest and most precious gift we can give ourselves to feel good. It’s involved in each and every physiological process that takes place inside our bodies – in fact, the average human is around 60% water (although this percentage can vary from person to person depending on their sex, age and body composition).
Staying well hydrated provides a number of benefits to our bodies, both inside and out. To maintain optimal body hydration levels, experts recommend drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day and consuming lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, as these have a high water content and contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The benefits of hydration for our health
To understand the role that hydration has on our health, here are a few of its key functions.
Firstly, proper hydration is good for our kidneys, as it allows them to work more effectively. It’s also important for our brain (In fact, drinking more water improves cognitive performance). Another reason to stay hydrated is for our heart, as water helps to maintain proper regulation of our blood pressure.
Good hydration can help to regulate body temperature, boost our metabolism, make it easier to eliminate toxins and also help to maintain proper elasticity and tone in our muscles and joints.
When we’re well hydrated, our intestines thank us for it. Water, along with fibre, make the perfect team for fighting constipation, which can often be caused by dehydration.
In short, staying properly hydrated gives us more energy, helps us to digest food better and makes a huge contribution to our overall wellbeing.
Under normal conditions, our body flushes out about two litres of water a day. Intense physical activity, the local climate and temperature, and certain physical conditions are all factors that can cause us to lose more liquids and minerals, which we then need to replenish. Liquids lost due to sweating (if not properly replenished) can even lead to hydrosaline imbalance.
Hydrosaline balance: what is it and how can we replenish lost minerals
When talking about hydration, we can’t overlook the role of minerals, which are inorganic compounds essential to our health.
The water we drink and the food we eat are all important sources of minerals, and they play an essential role in keeping our bodies functioning properly. But sometimes they can be even more essential, like in certain climates or when going on a diet leads to excessive dispersion or deficiency of these nutrients.
To avoid this, we need to compensate for these losses by:
- drinking lots of water (sugary and carbonated drinks, as well as alcohol, should be avoided)
- paying attention to diet: some foods are very rich in magnesium and potassium (especially fruits and vegetables, find out more), so we recommend eating more or to start adding them to your diet
- being careful not to consume too much salt
As we all know, drinking water contains a lot of minerals. But when we’re sweating more, especially when exercising or during the summer months, we can make up for lost mineral salts with hydrosaline supplementation.
We should make sure to always replenish our body’s magnesium, which plays (among other things) an important role in energy production. In fact, there isn’t a single bodily function that this essential mineral doesn’t play an active part in (find out more about magnesium’s role in supporting our natural wellbeing).
Potassium is another key mineral and is particularly useful when rehydrating during and after physical activity and for keeping blood pressure levels stable.
Our skin also needs to rehydrate, especially after being out in the sun
Properly hydrating is a good habit that directly affects the health and condition of our skin. Well-hydrated skin is healthier, brighter and less prone to ageing.
As well as drinking enough water every day, we can also hydrate our bodies from the outside by treating our skin with a few basic active ingredients, especially during times when it might be more dehydrated, such as after being out in the sun.
One particularly good way of restoring hydration to our skin and finding immediate relief after being out in the sun is by choosing a specific serum containing moisturising and anti-ageing active ingredients to soothe and hydrate the skin.
One of the best active ingredients we can use is hyaluronic acid, an essential component of the skin which, thanks to its very particular structure, can retain water molecules and then release them throughout the day into the deepest layers of our skin, giving it immediate hydration and luminosity.
Another great ally for keeping our skin hydrated is vitamin E, which has soothing, emollient, moisturising and anti-redness properties, as well as high antioxidant activity. It’s also particularly useful for its protective action against free radicals caused by oxidative stress (UV rays, smoking, pollution etc.), helping to fight off wrinkle formation and loss of elasticity.
One more tip: if you notice your skin showing the classic signs of dehydration, such as it having a ‘pulling’ sensation, and it feels rough and dry to the touch, try periodically applying a moisturising face mask with a hyaluronic base. You’ll feel immediate relief and your skin will also look much firmer and brighter!
Remember that your pharmacist is always there to provide you with practical and trustworthy advice than can help you to take care of your health and beauty, even (and especially) during these difficult times.