The Body Toolkit Blog

Dehydration - As Dangerous as Drink Driving?


I've always been fascinated by how tiny changes to our diet can make dramatic differences to how we feel.  That's what inspired the idea of The Body Toolkit, and to be really honest, most of the things I talk about are just common sense... but I think the biggest "health revelation" I have come across has been the impact drinking enough water can have on the body.

Nothing really new, right?  We all know water's good for us, and we should be drinking plenty of it.  But for a lot of people it's a hassle, it doesn't taste very nice... and it "makes you go to the loo more", which is probably the most common complaint I get.

But ever since I read about a study by Loughborough University on the effect not drinking enough water can have on our ability to drive a car, *drink more water* has been my number one non-negotiable health mantra.  

In the study they set up an experiment, where two sets of drivers were driving for two hours in a simulator.  Group A were "normally hydrated" and made 47 perceived errors at the wheel, while Group B were classed as dehydrated and made, on average, 101 errors while driving.  So, the dehydrated group made more than double the mistakes at the wheel than those who were hydrated.  What is most shocking of all is that drink drivers would be making the same number of mistakes... therefore, being dehydrated and driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

When I am at the retreat or doing workshops, I try to share this story as much as possible.  Put simply, I believe that we do not drink enough water and it is causing us serious health problems.  If a dehydrated driver can make that many mistakes at the wheel, what about a dehydrated Mum looking after her kids? Or how many mistakes does a dehydrated employee make at their computer, or in their job?  How many mistakes do our kids make at school if they're dehydrated?

The other issue is that we all eat and drink large quantities of things that dehydrate us even further.  On every street corner, you've either got a coffee shop or a pub.  Both selling drinks that are 1) dehydrating and 2) highly addictive, so we drink a lot of them.

The book 'Your Body's Many Cries for Water' by Dr Batmanghelidj (good luck pronouncing that one!) essentially links every possible health complaint to dehydration.  If we are 70% water and we lose water through our pee, our sweat, our tears and even our breath... and if we dehydrate ourselves with food and drink choices, then we need to seriously be rehydrating ourselves.

The other final thing to mention is that we need to be drinking pure, clean water - and preferably about 2 litres of it.  Apparently herbal teas, juices, other drinks don't count.... the body will welcome a beautiful fresh juice but it really needs its quota of pure water daily.

So, are you drinking enough H2O...?

The Body Toolkit award-winning retreat programmes share simple, yet powerful things we can all do to nourish the body, reduce stress and help ourselves to thrive. For dates, availability and prices for upcoming retreats:

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