There are myriad health benefits that come from drinking water, but a recent study of 30,000 people showed that less than 1% were drinking the recommended daily amount. Medical professionals recommend drinking 8 glasses of water per day, and that doesn’t include water based drinks such as tea or coffee. Let’s find out the benefits of proper hydration…
Your skin contains plenty of water too, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. So, it’s no surprise that keeping yourself hydrated reduces dryness and buffs out lines and wrinkles, but it’s still important to note that overhydration won’t erase them, once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids. The more water you drink, the better your kidneys should perform. Urea, the toxin present in the blood that passes through the kidneys, is water-soluble. So, the more hydrated you are, the quicker the body can break down urea and remove it. People who drink more water generally have kidneys which function at a higher rate, which can be hugely beneficial later on in life, when kidney stones or even kidney failure becomes more of a risk.
If you’re planning on losing weight as well, water should be your beverage of choice. Drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce hunger pangs. In two separate studies, drinking 500ml/17oz of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1 and a half hours. This means that drinking 2 litres of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day! If you are on a strict timetable for your mealtimes too, the timing of drinking water can be extremely helpful, as drinking water half an hour before meals can help you feel fuller, allowing you to control your calorie intake better.
Finally, here are some top tips for staying hydrated from dietician Kathleen Zelman, director of nutrition for WebMD:
Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you're watching calories, go for water or non-caloric beverages.Water helps to energise muscles. Cells that don't maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Particularly during sports, cells which aren’t adequately hydrated don’t perform as well, so it’s important to sip water at regular intervals to ensure longevity. It’s not just physical performance that can be affected by dehydration either, your brain is also strongly influenced by hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration, which can be classed as fluid loss of about 1-3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function. For example, on a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration, and increased the frequency of headaches.