If you are looking for the best health and wellness products, you need look no further than to your kitchen or office pantry. Water makes up over 60% of the human body. Drinking enough water daily is thus not only essential for life, but it brings surprising health and wellness benefits too. But many people do not drink sufficient water each day. Are you one of those who are missing out on this (virtually) free health “product”?
Health Benefits Of Drinking Water
Here are the reasons why you should make drinking sufficient amounts of water daily a regular habit:
Supplies The Water Your Body Loses
Water in your body supports everyday vital functions such as transporting oxygen and nutrients within the body, lubricating organs and joints, protecting organs, acting as a shock absorber in the brain and spinal chord, regulating body temperature, and flushing out waste products such as urea and ammonia. Our body loses water through sweating, urinating, and even breathing. Water consumption allows us to replenish the lost water and to ensure that our body has sufficient to maintain its vital functions.
Water Promotes Healthy Blood Flow
Your blood contains a component called plasma, which constitutes more than 50% of total blood volume. It helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, regulates body temperature, and transports blood cells throughout the body to where they are required. When a person is dehydrated, the plasma to blood cell ratio changes and blood becomes more viscous. This makes it more difficult for blood to flow and increases stress on the heart. Moreover, a lack of proper hydration causes blood vessels to constrict. This can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of hypertensive heart disease. Drinking sufficient water helps our blood maintain proper circulation.
Maintains Joint Movement
Your body will try to retain as much water as possible for your vital organs when you are dehydrated. This reduces the amount available for lubricating joints and results in increased friction between your bones. Drinking sufficient water lowers your joints’ “creaky” feelings.
Supports Healthy Gastrointestinal Function
Constipation prevention is one of the significant advantages of drinking water. Your stomach absorbs moisture from your feces, creating an unpleasant blockage if you are inadequately hydrated. Rehydrating yourself can ease the digestive process and get bowel motions back to normal.
Promotes Healthy Kidney Functions
Water helps your kidneys remove toxins from your body and harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. Your kidneys will not have enough fluids to enable them to function effectively if you do not drink enough water. In addition, adequate hydration can also help to prevent kidney stones, which can occur when urine becomes supersaturated. Our Expert Advisory Board member, Dr Fiona Wu (Consultant Urologist and Medical Director, Aare Urocare) explains in this article.
Helps Attention And Focus
Dehydration causes your brain to function less effectively. According to scientific research, even a 2% degree of dehydrated can impair a person’s performance “in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills”. So drink up, if you want to perform your best in school or at work.
Drinking Water May Assist In Managing Weight
There is some evidence that points to the possibility that drinking water can increase the body’s metabolism. This happens due to thermogenesis in the body when it uses energy to warm up consumed water to body temperature. Drinking water also stretches the stomach. This helps to satiate hunger as it signals to the brain a sense of fullness. Experts suggest that about two cups should be sufficient to fill your stomach enough to register fullness.
Furthermore, the brain often mistakes thirst for hunger. People who are dehydrated thus may end up consuming food and calories when they are in fact in need of water. Staying adequately hydrated prevents this from happening.
So How Much Water Per Day Should You Consume?
Health experts suggest that healthy adults take in eight glasses, or about two litres, of fluids each day. This quantity however, includes not just water, but also fluids from foods. People who engage in activities that result in perspiration, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, will require more water to stay healthy. If you are suffering from any illness, your water requirements may differ as well – consult with your doctor to understand more with regards to your condition.
In general, people should consume an amount of water such that they urinate several times a day. The urine discharged should be pale in colour and free from odour.
Many people drink insufficient amounts of water. Office-workers for instance, may put off drinking water until they feel quite thirst. Thirst is in fact a sign that dehydration has set in, and your body may already be suffering the effects of insufficient fluid intake. Make it a habit to drink water regularly and do not wait until you are thirsty to do so.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.