I love talking about hydration. It's one of the most simple and effective ways of positively influencing your health. In general, you can assume you can't go wrong when you drink enough water.
To focus a little on the specifics, hydration is an essential factor for optimal bodily function as it impacts several systems, including the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, digestive, and urinary systems. Approximately 60% of your body is made up of water, so you can see why it has a crucial role in maintaining your overall health.
In addition to regulating body temperature (a key consideration during menopause) water is also vital for transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. It supports your joints by providing lubrication, and it transports waste products from all parts of your body.
Adequate hydration levels also help maintain cognitive function - yes, water really does help you think better! - and promote healthy skin, among many other benefits.
However, changes in hormone levels during the peri to post menopausal transition can impact hydration levels so your usual amount of drinking water might no longer be sufficient.
Fluctuations in hormones, particularly oestrogen, can lead to an increase in perspiration and urine production, leading to dehydration. This is particularly important if you tend to rely on caffeine rather than water.
To maintain optimal hydration levels no matter where you are in your menopause journey, here are my three top tips for you:
Drink plenty of water
It may seem like an obvious tip - in fact, it IS an obvious tip - but it's essential to drink enough water throughout the day. Aiming for at least eight glasses of water over the course of the day can help maintain good hydration levels. If you can, drink water before meals rather than during to help support your digestion.
Consume hydrating foods
Good nutrition is always important, no matter what stage you are life. During menopause, incorporating water-rich fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber and celery, can help boost your hydration levels. These foods also offer essential vitamins and minerals to support overall health. There is a handy list at the end of this post for you to find some great hydrating foods!
Limit alcohol and caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can lead to dehydration by increasing urine production. Limiting the consumption of these drinks and opting for hydrating beverages such as water, caffeine and tannin free herbal teas, and fresh juices can help maintain optimal hydration levels.
Given that hydration plays a crucial role in maintaining the proper functioning of multiple bodily systems, and changing levels of hormones during menopause can impact hydration levels, leading to potential health complications and symptoms, I'm hoping you can see that we need to pay special attention to our hydration levels during menopause.
As promised, here are 50 hydrating nutrient-rich foods that you can add to your diet:
These foods not only provide hydration but also contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support overall health and wellbeing. The great thing about all vegetables is that they also contain fibre which is vital for your overall bowel heath too!