In the second part of our Health & Wellbeing blog series, guest blogger Dr Lewis Ehrlich talks all about the magic of H2O and why water is so important for human health.
A large part of us is water so we need to stay hydrated to ensure our body is functioning optimally. We need it to regulate our body temperature, for digestion, to flush waste products from our body, to absorb nutrients, to support cell growth and reproduction, transport oxygen to all parts of the body, lubricate our joints and so much more. If we are not drinking enough, we get dehydrated and our mental and physical performance is affected.
Similarly, the heart and the kidneys are just some of the organs that can begin to perform poorly when chronically dehydrated. If that isn’t motivation enough, your risk of some kinds of cancer can increase with inadequate water intake.
Most of the water that we get is from fluid. However, interestingly, a portion of our fluid comes from the food we eat.
So, how much water should we be drinking?
This depends on a range of factors including temperature, the amount of exercise you do, your medical status, what you eat, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding (pregnant women or those that are breastfeeding usually need an additional 250ml per day), and your metabolic status. Adjusting for the above factors, broadly speaking, women should aim for about 2L of water per day, and men around 2-2.5L per day.
From an oral health standpoint, still water is best. Sparkling water causes tooth decay and erosion. Although soft drinks and juices contain water, they are also bad for your teeth for the same reasons and are best avoided.
The best ways to stay hydrated:
Choose still water over teas and coffees as these have a diuretic effect and will cause you to urinate more frequently.
Always carry a reusable water bottle with you and take small sips throughout the day.
Drink before you are thirsty – if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Consider adding a pinch of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt to your water as this may assist with absorption.
Add a little bit of mint or berries to your water to add a bit of flavour which will make it more palatable.
About Dr Lewis Ehrlich: Lewis is a Dentist who graduated from James Cook University (JCU) with the Academic Medal. He is the Honorary Dentist to the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) encompassing the Socceroos, Matilda’s, A-League, W-League and National Youth Teams. With a background in professional sport and his passion for holistic health, Lewis focuses on the link between oral health and general overall health. His mission is to educate people to take control of their own health and prevent oral health disease and in-turn overall health diseases.
Before studying dentistry, he completed a Bachelor of Science at Northeastern University in Boston, USA. He then moved to Reykjavik, Iceland where he played professional soccer.
Lewis is passionate about the many links between oral and general health. He is a qualified fitness instructor and has a qualification in Holistic Health Coaching. He is also a member of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM), the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Orthodontics.
Lewis is a dentist at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre where he is a valued member of the team. When he is not in the clinic attending to his patients oral and general health, he loves travelling, reading and keeping active.
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