Here’s why it’s so important to stay adequately hydrated. By Dawn Chen
Photo: priyanka98742 / www.pixabay.com
Here’s a fun fact about myself: I can’t leave the house without a bottle of water. I get thirsty easily and need to drink a lot, and will feel uneasy if I don’t have quick access to water. According to Evian, roughly 60 per cent of the human body is made up of water, and people typically drink between 500 and 1000 litres of water a year to keep hydrated. And for good reason too. Water is essential for life, and good for your health in so many ways. Here are some benefits of drinking water, as shared by Evian. (Also read: What type of water should you be drinking?)
1. Regulate your temperature
One of the most crucial functions of water is that it helps you maintain your body’s temperature. Dehydration increases your heart rate and temperature, and may cause your body to overheat.
2. Fuel your workout
When you’re exercising, it’s even more important to drink up. When your cells are dehydrated, muscle performance and stamina can be compromised, and this can affect your performance. When you’re working out, you’ve also got to drink more water to replenish the fluids you’ve sweated out.
3. Boost your weight loss efforts
You’ve probably heard of this weight loss tip before: Drink a glass of water before a meal to help you feel fuller and prevent overeating. But beyond just filling your tummy, drinking water also helps rev up your metabolism by 30 per cent! This is according to a study previously published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
4. Prevent kidney stones
One of the easiest ways to lower you risk of developing kidney stones is to drink more water. If you don’t drink enough, your urine will have a higher composition of waste and crystal-forming substances, which can lead to kidney stones.
5. Maintain regular bowel movements
You’ve probably heard that you need to eat more fruits and vegetables to prevent constipation, but drinking enough water is actually a key way to regulate bowel movement as well. When you are dehydrated, your colon sucks water from your stools to maintain fluid levels, making poop harder. Boom! Constipation.
6. Keep headaches at bay
The next time you start to feel a pounding in your head, pour yourself a glass of water. In a small study published in the journal Headache, migraine sufferers felt total relief from their pain 30 minutes after drinking an average of 500ml of water. A possible explanation is that dehydration causes your brain tissue to lose water and shrink, and this triggers pain receptors in the area.
7. Focus better
Your crankiness and irritation when you haven’t been drinking enough water is real. Dehydration causes your mood to slump and your concentration takes a hit as well. Research by the University of Connecticut shows that even mild dehydration (defined as an approximately 1.5 per cent loss in normal water volume) can affect your energy levels and ability to think clearly.
“Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are one or two per cent dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform,” says Lawrence Armstrong, lead scientist and an international expert on hydration with over 20 years of research in the field. “Dehydration affects all people, and staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners, who can lose up to 8 per cent of their body weight as water when they compete.”