Did you know that your body is up to 70% water? This vital fluid not only keeps you hydrated but also helps flush out waste, lubricates your joints, and supports brain function. It also plays a key role in digestion and nutrient absorption.
Considering these aspects, it’s not surprising that health organizations recommend at least eight cups of water per day for women and 10 cups for men.
While it’s true that coffee, tea, fruit juices and other beverages count toward your fluid intake, they cannot replace water. Soda and energy drinks are full of sugar, while coffee and alcohol promote dehydration.
Additionally, not all water is created equal. Electrolyzed-reduced water for instance, may help reduce oxidative stress and protect against inflammatory conditions, notes a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Tap water, on the other hand, contains bacteria and residues that can affect your health in the long run.
Keeping hydrated is crucial for your well-being. Yet, a staggering 80% of Aussies experience symptoms of dehydration, ranging from low energy and fatigue to poor mental focus. The thing is, if you’re thirsty, you could already be dehydrated.
But don’t just take my word for it. Here are five science-backed benefits of water!
Proper Hydration May Boost Exercise Performance
A body water loss of just 1 to 2% can affect cognitive and physical performance. Loses of up to 5% can reduce your ability to exercise by about one third. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and other digestive problems.
Mild dehydration has negligible effects on muscle strength, but it can impair physical performance and put you at risk for cardiac events. Optimal hydration, on the other hand, can maximize sports performance and reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress.
Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that losing 1 to 2% of body water affects alertness and mental focus while contributing to headaches and tiredness. In one study, trail runners who were dehydrated took longer to complete the race and reported greater effort.
Sports Dietitians Australia recommends weighing yourself before and after training to determine the amount of fluid lost. Replace 125 to 150% of this fluid deficit over the next few hours.
Water Regulates Blood Pressure
Approximately one in three Australian adults has high blood pressure. More than 20% are not doing anything about it. If left unaddressed, this condition can lead to heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, dementia, and other illnesses.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to make major changes to bring your blood pressure down. Like with most things, it’s all in the small details. Simple things, such as drinking more water, can have a big impact on your blood pressure readings.
Clinical evidence published in Nutrition Reviews has linked dehydration to both hypotension and hypertension. These findings indicate that water helps regulate blood pressure and makes it easier to keep it within a healthy range.
Drink More Water to Stay Lean
Water is by no means a magic fat burner, but it facilitates weight loss through several mechanisms.
First of all, it promotes satiety and fills you up quickly, which may help reduce your food intake. Additionally, thirst is often mistaken for hunger. You may actually need more water — not more food — when your stomach is rumbling.
If you’re trying to get leaner, consider drinking about two cups of water before your meals. In one study, subjects who drank 569 millilitres of water (two cups) before eating consumed significantly fewer calories than the control group. They also reported increased feelings of fullness and reduced hunger.
Drinking water may also boost your metabolism and help you burn slightly more calories throughout the day.
A 2013 study featured in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research has found that overweight subjects who consumed 500 millilitres of water three times a day before their meals had significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, and body fat mass. These changes occurred in as little as two months.
Clean Up Your Diet Effortlessly
If you’re struggling to eat clean, look no further. Start by replacing soda, cocktails, energy drinks, and other sugar-laden beverages with plain water. It’s a simple, effective way to cut out empty calories and improve your diet.
A caffè latte, for example, has around 190 calories and 18 grams of sugar per serving, depending on its size and composition. If you drink one every morning, that’s an extra 1,330 calories per week or 5,320 calories per month. One pound of fat (0.45 kilograms) equals 3,500 calories, meaning that you could gain weight from caffè latte alone. Replace this sugary drink with plain water, and you’ll get leaner without even trying.
Keep Stress at Bay
While it’s not possible to eliminate stress from your life, there are ways to keep it under control. Dehydration raises the stress hormone cortisol levels, leading to increased stress. On top of that, it contributes to fatigue, lethargy, tiredness, and reduced alertness.
Drinking more water might be exactly what you need to boost your energy and mental focus. In the long run, this habit may improve your ability to handle stress and mitigate its harmful effects, such as increased appetite and weight gain.
These are just a few of the many benefits of water. Adequate hydration may also prevent headaches, keep you regular, and lower your risk of kidney stones. Plus, it benefits your brain and mental health.
Please note that I filter my water to remove sediment, fluoride, heavy metals, chloramines, chlorine, VOCs and lead.
My water then goes through a water ionizer to charge the water and make it high voltage, which our cells love. If you would like more information about the water ionizer that I use please send me an email or read more here. Please note that that this blog does not infer health claims from drinking this kind of water. The most important thing to do is to drink more fresh, filtered water!