During the warmer months, it is very important to keep cool and hydrated by drinking lots of water! Our bodies are approximately 60 percent water, so as you can imagine, we have to keep those fluids maintained.
Water is a vital part of life and not drinking enough can lead to long term damage to your health! When your water intake does not match your body’s output, it can lead to dehydration. The benefits of water are uncountable, but I have chosen to expand on three of these benefits, as follows…
If you are looking to loose weight, drinking enough water is essential. Water removes the by-products of fat from your body and reduces eating intake by filling your stomach and reducing hunger. Studies show that drinking half a litre of water increases metabolism by 24-30% for up to one and a half hours. Therefore, drinking two litres of water a day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day. In another study, people who drank half a litre of water before meals lost 44% more weight (in a period of 12 weeks). Did you know, it is very beneficial to drink cold water as the the body uses additional energy – and thus, calories – to heat the water to body temperature. It increases your energy levels, raises your metabolism AND has zero calories! How marvellous!
Water is the main way the body rids itself of toxins. Waste is eliminated through sweat and urination (all water!), and this reduces the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. When you have had too much to drink, you can get a hangover… alcohol is referred to as a toxin. It is a diuretic, meaning it makes you loose more water than you take in… meaning you can get dehydrated!
To prevent a hangover, have at least one big glass of water before bed. Although hangovers are only partly caused by dehydration, drinking water reduces a lot of the main symptoms.
Not only does water flush out the bad stuff, it also increases energy levels, brain function and physical performance. Your brain is mostly water, so drinking water helps you think, concentrate and focus, as well as be more alert. Dehydration (loosing 1-3% of body water weight) can restrict brain function and impart mood… leading to major reductions in memory and brain performance. Physical performance is reduced through loosing as little as 2% of your body’s water content, and this is understandably harder to maintain during high intensity workouts and heat where you can loose 6% of your body’s water content. Not drinking enough water can therefore make exercise seem more difficult, both physically and mentally. So, it is very important to stay hydrated during physical activity – it can even help reduce oxidative stress which occurs during high intensity exercise… which makes sense after all – muscle is about 80% water!
So, how much water should you be drinking? The recommended amount of water you should be drinking varies from person to person… depending on their lifestyle and bodily needs. There is no ultimate agreed amount. However, an adequate amount can be approximated – and this is 13 cups a day (three litres) for men, and 8 cups (2.2 litres) for women. By drinking this amount you will effectively help dissolve the minerals and nutrients it needs, making them more accessible to your body, as well as floss out impurities. So, drink up!