Crew Health: The Importance of Hydration

Posted: 5th February 2017 | Written by: Rudi Keil

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Reading about New Year’s Resolutions in February may make you want to groan, but it's never too late to make positive changes for your health and diet - especially changes you can easily stick to while working onboard your yacht.

As many of you may know, it takes the human brain approximately three weeks to form a habit. The brain-body connection means that if we subject our bodies to a new environment or a new regime, consistently over three weeks, this results in a sort of re-programming, allowing us to replace old ways with new, healthier habits. 

So back to New Year’s Resolutions... and for those of you who have stuck to your resolutions on health and wellbeing, high five! But don’t stop reading just yet. For those of you who have found it difficult, don’t be too hard on yourself. Many fad diets fall short of the fundamentals of good health and are almost impossible to follow beyond three weeks. 

But it's never too late to make changes you can stick to, so let’s crack on with some Super Power Tips. 

Hydration

In my 20 years of experience with high performance health and wellbeing, and still among many of my clients at BMOVED, the most fundamental and most overlooked issue is hydration.

If we are not properly hydrated we cannot function, let alone function optimally. For every kilogram of body weight, we need approximately 0.04 liters of water per day, so a man weighing 100kg should be drinking four liters between rising and 18:00pm.

Before your jaws hit the ground, try looking at it from this perspective… Our internal thermostats are constantly being trashed by central heating and air conditioning. Our bodies are set artificially at a fixed temperature regardless of the temperature outside and this wreaks havoc with hydration. We continually perspire but we also lose a lot of fluids just by breathing.

Studies have shown that with correct hydration our metabolism increases by up to 30%.

pexels Lemons

If our detoxification processes are working efficiently you should be waking up slightly dehydrated - as a matter of course, not only after a night out on the town! To give your body a boost and avoid losing essential minerals and electrolytes, a great way to start the day is with Himalayan salt, or colored salt, and lemons. Including these in your diet for three weeks will give you and your body a noticeable boost and get you atuned to your body's optimum level of hydration. 

Try the Morning Mover: 

  • 400-800 ml of water

  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt or colored salt

  • Juice from half or a whole organic lemon 

As well as improving your hydration levels, there are several other important benefits to this concoction: 

Acidity and PH Levels

Without getting too technical on the subjects of acidosis and alkalosis, let’s consider the term ‘acidity’ and what it means for health.

Our bodies are typically in a state of acidity and there is a lot of research to suggest that over-acidity can have a negative impact on our health. As ever, we can improve matters and lower our acidity by adapting our diets and one of the simplest ways to do this is by using lemons. It’s not new - our grandmothers and great grandmothers used it for the mere fact that lemons contain vitamin C, but they are also an easy way to alkalize our bodies and balance blood sugar levels, both important benefits to our overall health.   

Lemons are also high in citrates which break down oxylates, which readily combine with calcium and can cause problems like kidney stones. We get oxylates from foods such as nuts, kale and spinach, and using lemon juice is a good way to keep this balancing act in check. 

Pexels Salt

Minerals and Trace Elements

I would advise you to stay away from standard white table salt and use a better alternative. My personal preference is Himalayan salt as it’s a mineral base (alkaline) rich in trace elements. You could also consider a variety of colored salts from different rock types, or Celtic sea salt which is grey in color. 

Himalayan salt can be a great help with adrenal fatigue. We all know that too much stress can have a negative effect on our health, and a lot of attention has been given to raised levels of cortisol. But it’s not necessarily the villain it is made out to be. Cortisol plays an important role in controlling our energy levels, so the aim is to promote optimal levels, typically higher in the morning and lower in the evening. 

Himalayan salt also has a positive effect on our neurotransmitters and how they set us up for the day - I will address this again with the importance of breakfast in a later article. 

Another major benefit is its effect on our intestinal health. It has strong anti-parasitic and anti-microbial properties, which in today’s environment is extremely important. This will also be the subject of a later article.

So with a few little changes, three weeks is all it takes to make a real difference to your health and wellbeing. And there’s no need for guilt trips as you can start any time. If you miss a day, just pick up where you left off.  Be nice to yourself and you’ll soon discover how nice that feels!

About Rudi Keil

Rudi Keil is an ex-professional rugby player and all-round sportsman, passionae about the connection between mind, body and spirit and its impact on performance and wellbeing. Rudi’s holistic approach incorporates a disciplined regimen of exercise, nutrition and supplements that has transformed the bodies and lives of countless people. 

He set up BMOVED to advise professional athletes and private clients, and to offer health and fitness programs tailored to the needs of yacht crew onboard and ashore. As a regular contributor to OnboardOnline, Rudi welcomes your questions and ideas for future articles - please send him a message via 'Contact Author' below. 

  

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