We know that drinking water is good, right? It’s a no-brainer – we hear it all the time; ‘drink more water!’ ‘water is good for your health!’ ‘drink 8 glasses a day!’ But when we drill down, do you really know why it’s important to keep your fluid levels up, do we understand the impact of not being hydrated?
Let’s explore a bit deeper.
1. It can improve your mood
Dehydration can make you lethargic, confused and lacking in energy. A study found that when a group of subjects increased their water intake from 1.2 litres a day to 2.5 litres a day, they reported a drop in tension, depression and confusion.
2. It can help you lose weight
In one study, participants who drank an extra litre of water a day for a year lost an extra 2kg of weight on average. This can be due to several things; not mistaking hunger for thirst, feeling fuller and drinking water instead of sugary drinks can all be valid reasons.
Studies also suggest that it can boost your metabolism by up to 30%. Sounds good, right?
3. It helps keep the bugs at bay
Our body is around 60% water, and basic functions rely on hydration. Water transports essential nutrients around the body and delivers them to our cells so they can function properly and is a major component of the blood and lymph system, which are fundamental parts of our immune system.
Drinking plenty of water also helps the kidneys flush out toxins from your body, removing all the nasties and stopping the build-up from weakening your immune system.
4. You’ll have better gym sessions
Staying hydrated helps lubricate your joints and avoid muscle cramps. You can exercise long and stronger when you have enough water on board.
5. It’s better for your back
Your discs are made up of an inner substance that’s mainly water, and an outer, tougher ring. Regular movement keeps your discs hydrated as they absorb whatever water is available.
If you’re dehydrated, however, this inner part of the disc also becomes dehydrated and can’t function properly. This places too much strain on the outer ring and can result in pain and swelling.
So, how much should you drink, and what?
A general rule of thumb is 15ml per lb of body weight, with an extra 500ml-1 litre with moderate-intense exercise. If you drink between 2-3litres a day, you’re doing fine.
It’s great if you have a reusable bottle and set yourself the goal of having so many bottles full per day, depending on the size of it. I use a 1 litre bottle and aim to finish 3 refills a day. I do, however, aim to get it all in by 8pm, otherwise frequent loo visits will keep you up all night!
It doesn’t have to be water, though obviously that’s the best drink you can get (and it’s free!) tea, coffee and soft drinks all count towards your daily hydration goal.