The human body in general consist of 60% – 75% of water & is an important component of every body part in our body. For example, our muscles & bones is made up of a composition of 80% and 30% of water respectively. The question really to ask here is “Why do we need to keep hydrated?” Indeed, what is the benefit and importance of staying hydrated? This blog will attempt to answer this question and share with everybody a list of science-related benefits of keeping ourselves hydrated.
Water in the body helps in the dissolving and carrying of nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Water also regulates our body temperature particularly in hot conditions through the act of losing more water through the skin (perspiration), which in turn acts to cool the body helping to maintain a stable temperature. The more water we lose through sweat, the more we need to replace, so those who live (or holiday) in a hot climate, or lose more fluid than normal doing sporting activities will need to drink more fluids more regularly to replace those lost through sweat. Keeping ourselves hydated also keeps our tissues—like those in our nose and eyes—moist, and our joints lubricated. Lastly, it protects our organs and ensures their proper operation such as flushing out of waste products.
Perhaps the question on everybody’s mind is this. ‘Just how much water should I drink each day?” One commonly cited answer to this commonly googled question encourages us to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water each day which adds up to around 2 liters of water each day. However, that is only a general amount and the actual amount of water intake is subjected to variables such as exercise, environment & our overall health. It's important to drink water before, during and after a workout to cover any fluid loss during exercise. Sports drinks can also be helpful in replenishing the fluid loss when we plan on exercising at a higher than normal levels for more than an hour. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes that can increase your energy & help our body better absorb water. However, some sports drinks are high in calories from added sugar. They also may contain elevated levels of sodium (salt). Some sports drinks contain caffeine, too which can cause insomnia and lead to us not being able to fall asleep at night. Fun Fact : A safe amount of caffeine to consume each day is no more than 400 milligrams & knowing just how much caffeine we are consuming each day helps us to better regulate our caffeine intake (A helpful advice for me because I cannot seem to sleep if I drink too much coffee.)
Below are 3 Science-Based Health Benefits shared with us by a medical professional regarding why we need to drink plenty of water.
1) Significantly affects energy levels and brain function
Our brain is strongly influenced by our hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function. In a study in young women, researchers found that fluid loss of 1.4% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration & increased the frequency of headaches. Many other studies, with subjects ranging from children to older adults, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance
2) Help prevent hangovers
A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration. Although dehydration isn’t the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth. An effective ways to reduce hangovers are to drink a glass of water between drinks and have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.
3) Can aid weight loss
Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight. This is because water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate. Some evidence suggests that increasing water intake can promote weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn daily. A 2013 study in 50 young women with overweight demonstrated that drinking an additional 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of water 3 times per day before meals for 8 weeks led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat compared with their pre-study measurements
The timing is important too. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full so that you eat fewer calories. In one study, dieters who drank 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks than dieters who didn’t drink water before meals
So there you have it, the importance of hydrating yourself! So the next time the coaches instructs members to go on break, the first thing to be done is to hydrate ourselves / refill our water!