Water Coolers Direct Blog

Interview With The British Liver Trust CEO, Andrew Langford !

22 May 2015 (0) comments

Andrew Langford the CEO of the British Liver Trust, talks to WaterCoolersDirect.com about how important good hydration is and how it can play a vital role in protecting your liver.

How long has the British Liver Trust been raising awareness of liver disease and who founded the charity?

Founded over 25 years ago under the leadership of the esteemed and pioneering Hepatologist Dame Sheila Sherlock, the British Liver Trust has always sought to raise awareness of liver disease and provide support for anyone affected by a liver condition. In recent years the charity has worked to improve prevention and early detection of liver health issues to save lives and reduce the burden on the NHS.

It’s essential we all have a good understanding of just how important our liver is as a vital organ that keeps us alive. Most people don’t realise just how amazing it is and that it carries out over 500 functions crucial to life.

2.     What are the key ways the Trust engages with the public to discuss liver disease (i.e the pop up clinics/corporate days)

As well as national media work the British Liver Trust raises the public profile of liver health issues through our innovative Love Your Liver campaign which tours the UK providing liver health clinics that offer screening and ultrasound scanning to members of the public. We also use these events to work with local media to increase awareness and encourage viewers, listeners and readers to find out more about liver disease and think about their own liver health.

Through our www.loveyourliver.org.uk website we also provide access to the liver health screener that can be completed at any time by anyone to find out their liver health risks and what to do if they are at risk.

Our main charity website at www.britishlivertrust.org.uk has a whole range of information on all adult liver health issues, along with patient stories which help others to see they are not alone.

Additionally we use social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Health Unlocked to communicate with as wide an audience as possible. Most recently we secured funding to develop an app that supports people to reduce their drinking. The app very importantly, for those who do drink, encourages good liver health by taking 2-3 consecutive days off drinking a week (www.spruceapp.co.uk). Users of the app are encouraged to let us know what they think so we can improve future versions.

3.     How key is water to keeping our livers healthy?

Good hydration is essential to all health and supports the liver by assisting elimination of waste materials. Dehydration can lead to a loss of strength and stamina, and chronic dehydration can lead to kidney, liver and joint problems. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day (depending on your size and the amount of exercise you are doing) helps to keep all our organs healthy and working well. By installing a water dispenser in your home or office you can get fresh filtered water throughout the day while protecting your health.

 4.     Do you think that installing instant hot water taps and water coolers in workplaces makes it easier for businesses to help their staff stay hydrated?

Anything that encourages employees to be as healthy as possible, including good hydration, like an instant hot water tap should be encouraged; I would imagine more people would drink fresh water if it was available on tap.

Can you tell us the key reasons why liver disease is on the up in the UK?

The significant increase of over 400% in liver disease in the last 40 years (11,000 deaths in 2012) is due to a range of lifestyle related issues including:

  • drinking too much alcohol
  • increasing weight and obesity problems in the whole population (25% of the population are obese and most will have fatty liver disease, according to the Lancet Commission report Nov 2014)
  • increasingly unhealthy diets and lack of exercise

Also unsafe sex and injecting drug use, along with a lack of understanding of how hepatitis is transmitted, has seen viral hepatitis increasing. Around 75% of those infected with Hepatitis C are estimated to be undiagnosed.

6. How can we look after our livers better?

Primarily we all need to understand and respect our liver and realise just how important it is to our good health. To stay as healthy as possible we need to:

  • Keep our alcohol intake within safe limits and always take two to three consecutive days off every week
  • Maintain a healthy weight – ensuring we eat as healthily as possible, take enough exercise and stay hydrated.
  • Avoid the risks of viral hepatitis (see www.britishlivertrust.org.uk for more info)

All of us should complete the Love Your Liver health screener and take stock of just how healthy our liver might or might not be and take the recommended actions to keep our liver as healthy as possible (www.loveyourliver.org.uk). 

Why Drivers Need to Stay Hydrated

20 May 2015 (0) comments

Every legal driver already knows that drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel are two things that should never mix but how about another less known fact? According to a new study carried out at Loughborough University, dehydration can be just as dangerous.  Here we discuss those findings and explain how best to remain hydrated before, during and after your journey.

The Study

The results of this research were published in ‘Physiology and Behaviour’, a journal that deals with how we act according to a number of different conditions. Apparently, when drivers are just a little dehydrated, they can make 100% more mistakes compared to ones who are not. The results uncovered this surprising set of facts and you may be shocked to learn that being in this state is comparable to drink driving.

Dehydration is Dangerous

The research was carried out using a driving simulator and a number of volunteer male drivers over a 2 day period. Each volunteer was given a number of typical driving manoeuvers to carry out and were given 200 ml of water to drink every hour throughout the test. On the second day, this amount was reduced to 25 ml per hour and this is where the mistakes started to creep in. Late braking, lane drifting and all sorts of driving errors were noted by the dehydrated drivers. We already know that fatigue, headaches and even short-term memory loss are the by-products of dehydration so why risk everything by adding driver error to that list?

Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day

Even if you are not planning to drive your vehicle on any given day, why risk these nasty side effects at all? Staying hydrated is surely one of the easiest things to remember to do and by installing a water cooler or an instant hot water tap into your home, college or workplace; you can stay one step ahead of the game. Try to avoid sugary drinks because they are far less effective in the war against dehydration and stick to fresh filtered water. If you are taking a long car journey, always stop at least once per hour and ensure that you bring plenty of drinking water along to stay nicely hydrated until you reach that destination safely.

Source; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11547199/Not-drinking-enough-water-has-same-effect-as-drink-driving.html

Get Your Mind and Body Exam Ready!

13 May 2015 (0) comments

Check out the infographic below to see our top tips on how to stay healthy and hydrated whilst preparing for your exams!

Hydration and Physical Activity

13 May 2015 (0) comments

No matter how healthy you are or whatever your age happens to be, staying nicely hydrated is key to feeling and looking great. But if you are an athlete or simply enjoy more than the typical amount of daily exercise, it is even more vital to increase your daily water intake as laid out by the experts. Here we look at some facts that can not only keep you nice and healthy when followed, but may also lift you when you are feeling a bit sluggish.

Key hydration tips

In terms of maintaining a healthy fluid balance in your body, the urinary tract has to be right at the top. In order to keep this system working properly, we must stay hydrated throughout the day. Once dehydration starts to kick in, something called the hypothalamus detects this change and begins to release a hormone known as vasopressin. This triggers our thirst and tells our kidneys to start conserving water. Although this incredible set of actions will help our bodies to deal with dehydration, if we continue to remain in this state, we risk an infection to our urinary tract that could cause kidney stones and even more critical illnesses.

Do not wait until thirst kicks in!

Although we get a real thirst on when dehydration starts to rear its ugly head, we should not rely on this timely reminder every time. It is far better to plan our drinking habits throughout the day because thirst alone is not reliable enough to stave off the dreaded “D” word. Why not download our drink alarm app and get reminders when you need to top up your water levels! Here are a few reasons why thirst develops:

·       In some cases, thirst may be caused by something as simple as a recent meal or snack. Eating salty or spicy foods can cause you to suddenly feel thirsty. 

·       You will usually feel thirsty because you're not drinking the amount of fluid your body needs. This may be because you've been sweating heavily after a workout or you've lost fluid because you have diarrhoea and are vomiting.

Stay Hydrated 

So instead of waiting for thirst to start kicking in, why not avoid it altogether and stay hydrated? By ensuring that you have easy access to cool and hot drinking water at all times, you will lessen the chances of dehydration greatly. Look into installing a chilled filtered water cooler or drinks dispenser into your home and workplace and also look closer at how instant boiling water taps can have a very positive effect on both your health and timesaving requirements.

Information source; http://www.nhs.uk/

How Drinking Water Improves Concentration For Students!

08 May 2015 (0) comments

So it’s time for our students to make all of that hard work finally pay off, yes the exam weeks are now upon us! However, were you also aware that drinking water regularly and staying hydrated is almost as vital as all of those months of hard revision? Would you be surprised to learn that students are only allowed to bring a single bottle of water in for the entire duration of an exam? Let’s take a closer look at how these facts tie in nicely together for this milestone event in every student’s life.

Your brain and how it needs water

Although it is no secret that our bodies constantly need water, you may not know that our brains are just as receptive to this ‘superliquid’. Dehydration can cause all types of issues as far as our brain is concerned; the likes of fatigue, headaches, memory issues and depression all have connections to dehydration. For those students who are looking for ways to increase their brain capacity, they should be looking at their drinking habits and we are talking about H2O here! Your brain is made up from 85% of water and if this starts to dehydrate, the energy levels will soon begin to fade.

500ml of water limit for each exam

According to a number of regulated student’s websites, one of the items that you are allowed to bring into each exam is 500ml of water. Although even more may be advised, please do not overlook this vital aid. Try to drink small sips throughout the exam and leave a little in reserve for the end. So many of our students totally forget or simply cannot be bothered to take water into the exam halls and who knows if that affects the overall results, but why take this unnecessary risk in the first place?

Stay hydrated at home and in school or college

Water bottles are fine for the exam itself but check out your school and see where the drinking water fountains and chilled water dispensers are located. These offer free water whenever you need it and do away with the need to carry a disposable plastic water bottle. You should also think about having a similar device installed at home because we certainly have more than enough plastic bottles to deal with and a refreshing cool glass of water is way better for your brain than some sugar-filled, fizzy branded soft drink.

If you want to look after your brain and ensure that it is there when you need it, stick to chilled and great tasting, filtered water before, during and after the exams – Good Luck!