Water contributes to countless essential functions within the body and is relied on my all the major organs. Besides maintaining the health of the heart, brain, and muscles, water helps to transport nutrients to cells while also flushing out bacteria. However, it is relatively easy to become dehydrated, either by not drinking enough water, through excessive sweating or exercise. When this happens, it’s common to feel faint, have a headache, experience cramp or to feel tired.
Fortunately, restoring water balance can be achieved simply by drinking water. In general, it’s recommended that adults consume about two litres a day, but this should be increased if the weather is hot or if you’re exercising. Drinking enough water and staying properly hydrated will help you in many other ways, including:
While the kidneys naturally filter waste from the body, they require adequate water intake to function properly. Proper hydration can also help prevent joint disorders, as water reduces inflammation and promotes cartilage health. Proper water consumption can also protect against kidney stones, constipation and urinary tract infections.
Skin cells, like all cells, are made up of water. Therefore, if the skin is not receiving adequate hydration, it will appear dry, tight and flaky, and fine wrinkles will be more pronounced.
After exercise and perspiration, it is especially important to rehydrate to replace lost fluids. Staying hydrated before, during and after exercise can not only reduce fatigue but also improve endurance. Combined with proper hydration, even a little exercise can boost energy levels.
A recent study carried out by psychologists at the University of Westminster and the University of East London found that drinking just 300ml of water can boost attention by up to 25%. Similar studies have also found that participants performed better and faster on a series of cognitive tasks after drinking water versus those who did not. Dehydration can also lead to an impaired attention span, memory functions and motor skills.
Dehydration is known to cause headaches and can also have a negative effect on mood, so a glass of water can go a long way to preventing a headache as well as enhancing your mood.
The benefits of drinking water and staying properly hydrated are numerous, with the positive effects aiding countless functions within our bodies. As we strive to live healthier, happier lives, merely drinking water regularly is a great place to start.
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