The fine art of drinking - featuring Anthia Koullouros of Ovvio Organics

The fine art of drinking - featuring Anthia Koullouros of Ovvio Organics

For something so fundamental, drinking can be a baffling practice. The politics of hydration, floods of conflicting advice and the rising waters of advertisement leave us likely to boycott H2O altogether, seeking solace in a double-shot espresso.

Yet hordes of us are chronically parched, with vague and perplexing symptoms that may simply be a matter of insufficient (or incorrectly dosed) water consumption.  

Our mission? To demystify the rules of hydration and provide simple guidelines for keeping your innards plump and juicy.  

We interviewed Naturopath, Homeopath, Herbalist and Lifestyle educator Anthia Koullouros from Ovvio Organics and discovered a well of advice for optimizing our water intake.

 

But first, why all the fuss over water?

  • Quite simply, our cells are brimming with the stuff, keeping their shape and maintaining electrolytic balance thanks to water. 
  • Dubbed the 'universal solvent', water also dissolves nutrients from our food and renders them bio-available. It is the intermediary in every chemical reaction; the bouncer stepping in to escort toxins out and usher minerals in. 
  • It lubricates membranes, bathes tissues and conducts electrical impulses. 
  • It is essential for digestion, absorption and excretion. 
  • It forms the most satisfying part of a workout; the finale - raising your drink bottle, closing your eyes and allowing your face to change gently back from beetroot red to a cooler shade of human.

 

Why does it matter if we become dehydrated?

  • Dehydration is an unpleasant and potentially dangerous state. Water losses of as little as 3-4% of body weight can cause major physiological disturbance. 
  • Muscles and tissue require a hearty input of blood and nutrients to maintain their function; dehydration reduces our available plasma levels and impairs this delivery service. Fatigue, decreased physical ability and postural hypotension ensue, and we begin to resemble a human sultana.
  •  Even more troubling is the reduction of sweating and blood flow to our outer peripheries. Circulation to the skin facilitates homeostasis - a continuous heat exchange and thermostatic balancing act. When there isn't enough blood volume to sustain these regulatory mechanisms, our core temperature begins to rise. Enzymes (being the highly-strung and sensitive little bundles of protein that they are) can only operate inside a narrow window of degrees. Any sudden increase (or decrease) in temperature can spell disaster for their function. 

Putting it plainly; dehydration is bad news.

Now that we've covered the horrors of inadequate watering, let us look to solutions.  

Six simple tips from Anthia to ensure our fluid needs are met, and each sip is of the highest, most hydrating quality

 

Calculate your optimal water intake

 

Anthia recommends consuming 3% of your body weight (in kilograms) of water in liters per day. If you are a 60kg woman for example, you will require 1.8L of water as a baseline for proper hydration.

 

Add a pinch of natural sea salt to drinking water

 

The broad spectrum of minerals contained in natural salts such as Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Crystal Salt help to replace those lost in our over-filtered tap water. The addition of extra sodium also helps our cells to retain fluid, and prevent the leaching of minerals from other tissues to compensate. If you find yourself running to the bathroom every nanosecond after increasing water consumption, try the salt trick to help your body hang onto H2O.

  

Drink 30 minutes before and one hour after meals

 

Sipping water between meals and avoiding slurping large quantities whilst eating ensures proper digestion. We need some fluid to facilitate emulsification and absorption of food, but too much can flood our bellies and dilute our all-important digestive enzymes. Get kids in the habit of drinking throughout the day, rather than encouraging them to fill up on drinks at the dinner table.

  

Increase your fluid intake with a daily watering routine

 

Drink one glass upon rising, one glass 30 minutes before and one hour after each meal. This effortlessly bumps up your quota to seven glasses. Include herbal teas, clear soups and broths, and you've reached your daily requirements. Setting timers or utilizing visual prompts can also help as you cement the ritual.

 

Drink from stainless steel or glass bottles

 

These are healthier mediums for carrying water than plastic, which can leach chemicals and xenoestrogens. Many of these hidden soluble nasties are implicated in the increasing prevalence of hormonal disorders, metabolic syndromes and even cancer. Environmentally, plastic water bottles constitute a plague of horrific proportions in our oceans and landfill. Investing once in a trusty (and colourful!) flask is endlessly superior to feeding the clear, plastic scourge. 

 

Wash mouth and brush teeth first thing in the morning before drinking

 

Toxins and bugs can build-up in the oral cavity overnight. Giving it a thorough rinse and clean will ensure your first, hydrating sip is pure, healthy and free from accumulated nighttime gunk.  

****** 

 

So ends our watery discussion. Don't underestimate the power of two tenacious hydrogen molecules clinging to an oxygen atom for enhanced energy levels, detoxification, digestion and general wellbeing. Cheers to a perfectly designed, on-tap, liquid elixir!     

If you'd like to check out some of Anthia's amazing herbal teas (which are a delicious way to hydrate, therapeutically), we have them in-stock at Enliven Organics.  



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