Water is essential to life. Without H20, life would not exist on planet Earth – and you would not be alive either. Stop taking in water, and you wouldn’t survive for long – at most three days. Therefore, staying well-hydrated with drinking water and consuming moisture-rich foods and help your body to perform at its best. You will find your skin improves, your hair shines, you are resistant to diseases and illnesses, and your level of alertness and mental wellbeing is high. All in all, drinking water is a very good idea.
How much water should I drink?
For optimum health, you need to drink enough water each day to maintain the body’s system. You will feel thirsty regularly, which is the body’s mechanism for getting the liquid it needs. However, by the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated, and some people do not feel thirsty reliably enough to use this as a measure of water intake. Consequently, we need to remember to drink enough fluids.
But what is enough?
The NHS suggests that our water intake should be between six and eight 250ml glasses of water a day. This fluid doesn’t necessarily have to be water, but it should be non-caffeinated. Even though ESFA recommends a higher amount, we need to realise that 30% of our water can also come from food.
While two or more litres of water might sound like a lot, we actually might drink more if we live in a hot place or exercise extensively.
The easiest way to assess if you are dehydrated is to check out the colour of your urine. The darker the urine, the more dehydrated you are. Ideally, your urine should be straw-coloured or clear.
What roles does water play in our body?
Water keeps the body in good working order. Its first job is to help produce the saliva that means we can swallow and digest our food. Water also regulates our body temperature, and taking in fluids can cool us or heat us up quickly. It is also the quickest way to reintroduce electrolytes into the body after we have sweated.
Water is also important in the protection of your joints and body tissue. Without water, we would struggle to have the full range of motion in our joints, muscles, and spinal cord. Drinking water helps your joints, particularly, keep in physical shape.
Without water, you will struggle to rid yourself of waste products. We get rid of products we don’t need as we sweat, urinate, and defecate. Without water, we cannot do this. Consequently, one of the causes of constipation is not drinking enough water. If you want to keep things moving, you need to lubricate your system. This lubrication will also help you digest your food and ease your digestive processes. In turn, improved digestion means you will take in more nutrients.
Remember also that certain medications will cause you to urinate more. Medications such as blood pressure tablets and diuretics can reduce your level of hydration. You should be advised by your doctor to drink more water.
Other unexpected benefits
We might not have considered some benefits before, all of which we strive to do each day.
Drinking water helps you lose weight as it boosts your metabolism. Water will not only help you feel filled up while eating your meal and so prevent over-eating, but it will also help you shed kilos quicker. The activation of your metabolism will also boost your energy levels, which helps you exercise with more vigour.
Being hydrated helps boost your oxygen levels, benefits the whole of your system, and makes you feel more awake in the process. It is also important to appreciate that your brain is mostly water, so dehydration will reduce your cognitive abilities. It is essential to drink fluids to prevent fuzzy thinking, reduced memory and more. It will equally prevent you from feeling irritable.
You might spend a lot of money on different creams to prevent wrinkles and spots. However, one of the key strategies for clear and healthy skin is adequate hydration. It will keep the toxins flowing through effectively, so avoiding spots and plumping that skin up makes you look younger.
8-a-day keeps the doctor away
While the adage suggests an apple keeps the doctor away, realistically, it is eight glasses on non-caffeinated fluids each day. Not only will it reduce UTIs and help improve the effects of food, but we will feel generally better about life too.