It's Nutrition and Hydration week and we thought we would share with you what we are doing at LEAR Health Partners to check your hydration levels and also why this is important. Our medical grade scales are able to look at the volume of water within our bodies as well as breaking it down to see what level of water is within our cells and outside our cells.
We all need a certain amount of water in our bodies as it acts like a transport mode for nutrients and oxygen, helps to flush out waste products, keeps our mouth, nose and eyes moist, helps to regulate body temperature, dissolve minerals and vitamins for the body to absorb, aids with digestions and avoiding constipation as well as providing lubrication of joints. As you can see there is a long list of important bodily functions that we need hydration for. Too little hydration will prevent these functions from working appropriately having a negative impact on our overall health. On the flip side, too much water will dilute the sodium and overall mineral content in our body which can be dangerous. You can overhydrate by simply drinking too much water, but it can also occur in certain health conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease, congestive heart failure and poorly controlled diabetes.
So how do we know what our hydration levels are? At home you can look at your pee aiming for a pale yellow colour. A darker colour indicates dehydration whereas a complete lack of colour shows overhydration. As mentioned, at LEAR Health Partners we use the Marsden scale which gives us a reading of your hydration levels in litres. We then convert this to a percentage value. In women healthy hydration levels should be between 44-60% and between 50-65% in men.
Here at LEAR Health Partners we don't want to leave any leaves unturned, so we therefore take a closer look at the level of water found within and outside of the cells. Around a third of our total water volume should be outside of our cells as extracellular water. This type of water helps to transport components such as sodium, potassium and calcium around the body and between cells allowing for vital functions. If we have too much extracellular water content, we can see swelling in the limbs and it can indicate inflammation within the body.
Water within the cells, intracellular water, should be around 2/3 of our total water. This allows for molecules to be transported within the cell and for normal cell function. Athletes tend to have a slightly higher intracellular water content as leaner body mass retains more water within the cells.
We want to make sure that you are adequately hydrated to carry out exercise and if there are any numbers that are out of sync to signpost you in the right direction. Early detection for all healthcare problems is key and this is one of the reasons we take such a detailed approach to our clients in the LEAR Health Partnership Assessments.