Guest Post – The benefits of water & how to Prevent dehydration

Sadly, the summer is fading away and for many of us the time we spend outside will soon give way to more indoor activities.

But whether you’re basking in the summer sun, carving up a ski hill, or even remaining sedentary in front of a screen, it’s easy to become dehydrated.

Everyone knows water is good for you. This is not news to anyone. But why exactly do we need it?

The Miracle of Water

There are a number of statistics on just how much water is in the human body, and in truth it can vary. Water makes up between 45 and 75% of the human body, averaging about 65%. And there’s a good reason for this.

Water is crucial to every cell in your body. Believe it or not, not a single component of your body can function properly without water!

Your skin’s primary purpose is to act as a barrier between your body and the outside world. Essentially, it keeps your squishy bits inside, and keeps the rest of the world from contaminating them. And it can’t do that without water.

It also lubricates your joints, allowing you to stretch out and curl up without any issues. It helps keep your body temperature regulated, and delivers oxygen to the tissues in your body that need it.

It’s a big player in digestion as well. It helps get rid of waste and toxins through your kidneys and bowels, prevents constipation, and helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients to allow your body to work properly, especially your brain.

It plays a role in maintaining thyroid health and endocrine health as well. But perhaps most importantly, it helps your immune system function by creating an optimal environment for it. And without your immune system, you’re in trouble!

How Do I Know I’m Dehydrated?

As you can see, it’s obviously important to get enough water to maintain your health. So the solution is just to drink water when you feel thirsty, right?

Not exactly. It’s easy to go through life not knowing that you’re suffering from low level dehydration. In fact, research shows that by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.

The average adult loses 1.5 L of water in the urine per day and an additional 1 L through breathing, sweating, and bowel movements. Even a loss of 2-3% of the body’s water can lead to malfunction in some of the body’s systems!

So it’s important to watch for signs of dehydration, which is more than just that little tickle in the back of your throat, and can affect far more than your thyroid health. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dark coloured urine
  • Little or no urine output
  • No tears
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth & skin
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Thirst (obviously)
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue

How To Get Enough Water

Opinions vary among experts, but the general consensus seems to be that the average adult needs about two litres (that’s eight cups) per day.

Your environment and current body condition will make this number vary too. If you’re exercising a lot or are pregnant, you’ll require more water. If you’re ill or have a thyroid disorder, you may need to drink more fluids. And during the hottest days of the summer and coldest of winter, you’ll need to increase your intake as well.

Not all of this needs to come directly from water, though. It can come from other fluids as well, so long as they don’t contain any diuretics, like caffeine. Diuretics are chemicals which make you urinate, which will make you lose water more quickly.

In fact, you can even get some of your water from healthy food choices! Cucumber, melons, celery, and citrus fruits naturally contain a lot of water. Lemons and limes are especially good for this, since their acidic nature helps your body absorb minerals, helping to keep you hydrated.

One of the simplest ways to stay hydrated, though, is to increase your salt intake. Sea salt, and better yet Himalayan salt, contains minerals which keep the water inside your cells and blood vessels, where it’s needed.

Finally, during the hot summer months you can use cooling herbs, like mint and fennel, to help reduce excess sweating, keeping the water inside you.


Getting enough water is not just something to do in the summer. If you make sure that your body is well hydrated all year, it will go a long way toward keeping your body healthy. This helps to keep your immune system working at its best, which will help fend off a wide range of diseases. Staying hydrated is one of the best forms of preventative medicine there is!

Now I would love to hear from you! What tip do you have to stay hydrated over the summer? Leave a comment below and I’ll be back next week to fill in for Dr. Durkin on Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.

About The Author

Dr. Patrizio Nardini ND

Dr. Pat Nardini, ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (licensed by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario) and a 2001 graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto. During this time, he was the recipient of the Dr. Leo Roy/Dr. Joseph Boucher Award for Excellence in Clinical Nutrition. Prior to that, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science degree from the University of Guelph. Dr. Nardini’s practice focuses on promotion of the overall health of his patients through a wide range of naturopathic methods. Pat recognizes that each person is an individual, and that human health is not a “one size fits all” process. His methods revolve around achieving an optimal state of health by examining and treating the root causes of the problem, rather than simply addressing the symptoms. Dr. Pat Nardini, ND has more than a decade of clinical experience as a Naturopathic Doctor. His special interest lies in the health of the Thyroid Gland, as well as the entire Endocrine System in the body. He is certified in the diagnosis and treatment of Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome, a stress-related, usually reversible condition of the thyroid system. In addition, he has extensive experience with a wide range of issues that can impact your health. Pat draws from the naturopathic modalities of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, homeopathy, and lifestyle counseling in his holistic practice. He has treated people at all stages of life, male and female, those dealing with specific health concerns, and those who just want to be healthy. Amongst all of his years of study, he has found that the time that he has spent with his patients has taught him the most. He is extremely excited to be a member of the wellness team at Quinte Naturopathic Centre.

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