In our quest to discover the secret to healthy living or weight loss, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.
Drinking more water is such a simple task and yet one that many people either forget or don’t think about much. Many people will only reach for the water if they’re really thirsty. Others prefer to guzzle soft drinks, tea or coffee throughout the day. However, relying on caffeine and sugar-based drinks to support your daily hydration needs can leave you more dehydrated (and unhealthy) than you might think.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends a daily intake of 2.5 litres of water for men and 2 litres for women per day via food and drink. It may seem like a lot but drinking more water has plenty of benefits that can make you both happier and healthier.
Here are some key benefits to drinking more water (some might surprise you!)
Research shows that water contributes to the maintenance of normal cognitive functions. In other words, your brain functions better when it’s well hydrated.
Dehydration can lead to fatigue, loss of concentration and memory, and confusion in some cases. This isn’t exactly ideal for busy people who want to get the most out of the day.
Studies have revealed that a water loss of more than 2% in the body can reduce mental performance and even lead to confusion in cases of persistent dehydration.
While water won’t make the weight magically drop off, it can help you to feel fuller which means you’re less likely to snack or overeat at meals.
A lot of thirst can be mistaken for hunger so the next time you feel peckish, drink a glass of water before reaching for the chocolate bar and see how you feel.
Even drinking just 500ml of water can temporarily boost metabolism by 24-30%, which is great news for those looking to lose weight.
Water is thought to help the body naturally flush out all the toxins and impurities you come across on a daily basis. This can mean great things for your skin and is a much cheaper alternative to fancy moisturisers that claim to make you look radiant and younger.
Many people reach for the coffee when they’re half asleep in the morning. While a bit of caffeine is fine, water can be a good go-between to keep you hydrated and also to help you perk up a bit. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is fatigue so it makes sense to keep water close at hand so you don’t rely entirely on tea or coffee to get you through the day.
If aching joints and muscle cramps are a daily occurrence, one way you can improve things is to up your water intake. These pains can be made worse by dehydration so make sure you cross that off your list.
Boost your workout
As you work out you lose a ton of water through sweating. While some people leave the water top up to the end of the session, drinking throughout your workout can help keep your energy up to get you through a tough session in the gym. Your muscles need hydration and you may become tired faster if you don’t drink water throughout.
Cure headaches and hangovers
You’ll no doubt have heard that water can help ease a hangover. It can also reduce the effects the next day if you get plenty of water before you hit the hay. The reason for this is that hangover symptoms are mostly caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
On a similar note, did you know that a lot of average headaches are caused by dehydration too? If you find you get headaches (or hangovers) a lot, try drinking more water to see if this helps. It’s a more natural and healthier way to deal with headaches than painkillers.
What if you don’t like water?
Water isn’t the most exciting drink to guzzle all day. If you’re not a fan of plain water, try fruit-infused water or herbal teas in place of your usual drinks. Adding a bit of citrus to your water can also help you feel more alert during the day if you need a boost.
While making a conscious effort to drink more water might be a struggle now, you’ll soon get into the habit until it becomes second nature. Investing in a new fancy water bottle will help you remember to get your daily water intake.