Keeping hydrated during the Rugby World Cup 2015

Keeping hydrated during the Rugby World Cup 2015

Great excitement abounds as we draw closer to the 2015 Rugby World Cup being held in the U.K. this year, starting on 18 September and the final being played at Twickenham on 31 October. One would hope so, as rugby was invented in England in 1823. Legend has it that during a game of football at Rugby School in Warwickshire, a 16 year old student, William Webb Ellis, caught the ball and ran with it towards the opponent’s goal line, rather than following the rules of the times of catching and kicking the ball only.

From our side, as we’re all about things water, we’ve approached keeping hydrated from two angles – keeping yourself hydrated when playing the sport and how to keep yourself hydrated as a fan of the sport!

Perhaps you’re more couch potato than skinny fries when it comes to your sports participation. That’s why when you go from supine to five jumping jacks in a short time, you feel faint, you’re sweating bullets, your heart races, your face turns an interesting shade of puce and you may just feel like purging your most recent meal. This description should give you some idea of why your hydration needs are very different from your favourite rugby team.

Sports Hydration

As you can imagine, the physical and mental energy expended in a rugby match is monumental. In order to keep an athlete’s body (and mind) in peak condition, hydration and rehydration are of paramount importance. An example of just how important hydration is? A player can lose up to 3 to 4 kilograms during one match.

Although this year the temperatures won’t be soaring like they did at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in Papua New Guinea, where the thermometer reached a cracking 33°C, players always go through strenuous pre-match tests to ensure that they are properly hydrated.

They are weighed before and after training, they have urine tests every day and they fill in wellness charts. If temperatures tend to soar during matches, additional breaks can be implemented during each half. The good news is that these players, their coaches and managers are all highly experienced. So, that’s them covered – now we worry about you, the supporter.

Supporter Hydration

Being a rugby supporter can also be very strenuous – take it from me – at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, there was a lot of supporting, jumping up and down, cheering and moaning going on, and we won’t make too much mention of the quaffing of the many shots in support of one’s national team – usually a concoction of luminescent coloured alcohol. Thirsty work all round, but quenching one’s thirst in the altogether incorrect manner with nary a bottle of water to be seen. Not the right way to stay strong for your team!

So in order to actually enjoy the entire event (instead of giving it your all during one match and spending the remainder of the World Cup hiding underneath your duvet), be kind to yourself:

If you’re fortunate enough to be attending the matches at any of the stadiums:

– Check to see if you can take your own water in with you.

– If you’re walking long distances to get to stadiums, as always, make sure you’ve plenty of bottled water to drink.

– If you’re staying home and know that your supporting is going to be a steady diet of drinking and fry-ups, try to make sure that before you get into supporter mode you drink lots of water. This will mean that you should have more energy in reserve when it comes to the all-important cheering, jumping up and down and singing mentioned beforehand.

Right, you’re sorted, my work here is done. If you need me, I’ll be the one in the Scotland rugby jersey, singing, ’Doe-a-deer’ and ‘Scoooootttlannnd / Scoooooooootttllannnnnd’.

On a more serious note, if you think you or your company will be thirsty during the World Cup, we are so the right people to speak to. Call us on 0800 772 3003 or e-mail us at



Water & Your Health – It’s all about Balance in the Belly – Part II

Last week, we spoke about us having 2 brains – the one in our head and the one in our stomach.

This week we continue talking about stomach and digestive system health and how having a happy tummy is vital to your general health and well-being:

It’s all about balance when it comes to your digestive system’s health. When your digestive system is in tip-top shape, about 80-85 percent of bacteria are good guys and 15-20 percent are bad guys. You feel great, your body is strong and nimble, you rarely get sick, your energy is consistent – life is good. The healthy bacteria are free to do their job with ease. They assist with digestion, produce disease-fighting antibodies, crowd out bad bacteria and produce certain hormones, vitamins and nutrients. 

But when the harmful bacteria stage a revolt, all hell breaks loose. They totally stop up the works and cause painful problems like inflammation and infection, which can then lead to health issues such as constipation, candida, allergies, arthritis, headaches, depression, autoimmune diseases and more.

Medications (especially antibiotics and antacids), environmental toxins and chemicals, stress and illness greatly affect the ratio of good to bad bacteria. When bacteria are wiped out indiscriminately, the good guys are mowed down, giving the bad guys a chance to increase their ranks. Hello, chronic health issues.

The food you eat also affects the ratio of good to bad bacteria. Everything you consume is processed and either absorbed into your body or eliminated via your digestive system. Your stomach completes the amazing task of digesting your food and pulling the nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the food so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream.

And your digestive system’s mind-blowing capabilities don’t stop there. Your gut also identifies invaders – toxins, microbes, viruses and allergens that could harm your health – and moves them through your digestive system so that they can be excreted.

The key to this system working in your favour is two-fold:

  1. Lend your digestive system a hand by feeding your body whole, plant-based, nutrient-dense foods.
  1. Consistently practice a healthy lifestyle (less stress, exercise, less exposure to environmental toxins, proper rest) that supports the good tummy bacteria and keeps the harmful bacteria under control.

One of the most important factors in maintaining digestive health remains as always, in keeping hydrated and staying hydrated. Your digestive system needs water to keep bacteria and waste moving through you, which will help prevent constipation and bloating. When you’re dehydrated, these issues can throw off the balance of bacteria in your gut and lead to inflammation. Give your stomach a hand and drink more H2O!

The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. That’s about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml each for a man.

However, the amount a person needs to drink to avoid getting dehydrated will vary depending on a range of factors, including their size, the temperature and how active they are. One of the quickest and easiest ways to see whether you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine (keeping in mind that certain medication or even health supplements can give you Day-Glo yellow coloured urine). The lighter and more pale your urine is, the more hydrated you are. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are.  Be sensible about your water intake though – again, it’s all about balance.


Water & Your Health – It’s all about the Brains and the Belly – Part I

There’s long been debate about how best to maintain and prolong your body’s health. Now it turns out, you don’t have just one brain to take care of so it takes care of you, but two. Who knew?!

This is the case, apparently:

Brain 1 is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that controls almost all voluntary and involuntary activities within your body. For example, a voluntary action would be slicing your veggies, while an involuntary action would be blinking, breathing or falling in love. The involuntary actions carried out by your central nervous system are constantly at work taking care of you.

Brain 2 is in your stomach. Yup, it has a mind of its very own. Your stomach’s ‘brain’ is known as the enteric nervous system.  This system is home to 100 million neurons within your intestinal wall. These little neurons transmit important information throughout your body. They also control digestion and send status updates to the brain, letting it know how things are going in your digestive system.

Your two nervous systems have an intricate relationship that’s just now being explored by scientists through the field of neurogastroenterology (try digesting that easily). While the enteric nervous system initiates and sustains digestion on its own, signals from the brain, such as stress and anxiety, can have dramatic effects on how well it works.

About sixty to seventy percent of your immune system lives in your stomach. When pathogenic bacteria (bacteria that can cause infection) visits your GA tract via food or your environment, specialised immune structures called Peyer’s patches that are filled with immune cells, such as B cells and T cells, trigger your immune response to prevent them from passing through the gastrointestinal wall.

Before you stress out (not good for your stomach health, by the by) worrying that you now have two brains to take care of, don’t.

The important thing here is to remember that both brains are very much connected, so that by eating a balanced diet (more about this in Part II), keeping hydrated and your good bacteria levels up, this should pretty much ensure two happy, healthy and balanced brains.

Oh, and because both of my brains are pretty scattered, the blog title stems from that rather catchy ‘It’s all about that Bass’ song. Do yourself a favour and go and have a listen – I guarantee that it’s happy brain food for both regions.