Poor hydration is often the main underlying cause of many chronic conditions and this is not surprising when you consider that the human body is 75% water and the brain is 85% water.

Good hydration is therefore crucial to any recovery.

Conditions arising from poor hydration can include: joint pain and stiffness; headaches; oedema; high blood pressure; catarrhal conditions such as asthma and sinus problems; cellulite; gallstones; kidney damage. All of these conditions can be significantly improved through improving hydration.

As well as insufficient intake of appropriate fluids, stressful modern lifestyles also contribute to dehydration because stress causes cellular dehydration and cellular dehydration causes stress it a vicious circle! Added to this, after a while the thirst mechanism switches off so we are not reminded to drink the good news is that this can be reactivated!

Good fat and water reserves are essential to enable cell membranes to work effectively. When we are dehydrated we produce more cholesterol to protect the cell walls and this disturbs the transfer of electrolytes across the cell membranes. The result is imbalance in the body with minerals being in the wrong place with the potential to cause problems such as cramps and nodules. Cells also become more acidic as a result of this process contributing to conditions such as arthritis, anxiety and skin conditions.

If there is chronic toxicity in the body water accumulates outside of the cells to dilute it resulting in oedema. As you start to drink more, you may feel nauseas as a result of the toxicity clearing. Dehydration also affects physical and mental energy as the movement of water into cells generates the energy that is stored.

How much do we need to drink?

We all need about 4 pints of good quality water a day.

Other drinks are not as hydrating. This is because caffeine, sugar, sweeteners and alcohol are all diuretics which draw the water out of your cells and increase the urination rate. As a general rule, you need to drink an extra glass of water for every coffee or alcoholic drink that you have. Tea is not as bad and is about 80% as hydrating as water. The best water to drink is from a good home filtration system or bottled water with a low dry residue figure (what is left after all water has evaporated).

Read more in the hydration module of our recovery programme in the Self Guided section on: ntahealth.wpmudev.host