The Importance of Hydration
Drinking an adequate amount of water every day has so many benefits, the importance of hydration on the human body should not be underestimated. Without a sufficient amount of water, the body struggles to function how it should. In fact, many common illnesses we experience such as headaches can be a result of chronic dehydration! So when we say drink more water, we really mean it.
In the post, we look at the benefits of drinking water and the importance of hydration and why we all should keep our water intake up.
More water helps to decrease stress on the heart. Did you know that many people who suffer from high blood pressure tend to be dehydrated?
Dehydration leads to low blood volume; meaning blood is not moving through the system how it should resulting in the heart not working efficiently.
Water also has a major role in ensuring the transportation of nutrients between the organs and it also helps to flush toxins out of the body. Staying properly hydrated will also promote healthier hair, skin and nails. Dehydration results in dry skin in which causes wrinkles!
Healthy Digestive System
Water also works to help breakdown the food that we eat improving our nutrient uptake. It is also important for our digestion as it helps to keep food moving through our intestines. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation.
Help to combat those feelings of fatigue, particularly mid-afternoon, by drinking more water. Mild dehydration will create tiredness, making it harder for you to concentrate and have clear thought throughout the day. Switch that afternoon caffeinated beverage for a drink of H2O!
Water is a key component when it comes to improving the bodies ability at metabolising stored body fat. When we don’t drink enough our organs cannot function properly. A good example is the kidneys which cannot work efficiently with low water supplies. When this occurs the role of the kidneys is shifted to the liver. One of the main functions of the liver is to metabolise stored body fat and convert it into energy for the body. With the extra responsibility on the liver to carry out the role of the kidneys, the liver is unable to burn more fat.
Staying hydrated is crucial for our health, but if you are also active it is vital for improving our recovery and increasing performance. When we stay hydrated during training and recovery we can make a huge difference in helping to support all our bodily functions. Low water intake whilst training can cause issues such as muscle cramps, a decrease in strength and endurance and overall performance loss.
How Much Water?
It’s important to drink water regularly throughout the day. When the body gives the signal that we are thirsty, we are already dehydrated. Since we are all different, we all require different amounts of water, and this will vary depending on body weight and how active you are. However, try to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day, the more active you are the more you will need to drink.
The 2-litre recommendation does not include the intake of any caffeinated or sugary drinks (including coffee/tea, fizzy pop/cordials). These types of beverages work against our efforts to stay hydrated. They draw water away from our body’s reserves. Caffeine also diminishes our natural thirst to drink enough. Minimise your intake of caffeinated drinks and if you can try to drink filtered water.
Since we have been asleep for around 6-8 hours first thing in the mornings when we are most dehydrated. Begin your day by drinking a good amount of water to get the body properly hydrated and functioning well.
A Few Tips On How To Stay Hydrated
Keep a litre bottle with you during the day
Whether that be on your desk at work or in your bag whilst travelling. This way you can monitor your water intake and keep tabs on how much you have/ haven’t drunk, and refill when you need to.
As mentioned above, try to refrain from drinking a lot of sugary drinks such as fizzy pop or cordial juices. They not only have too much sugar but they also contain a lot of hidden nasty chemicals. If you struggle to drink plain water add fresh slices of fruit to yours for flavour instead.
Don’t sip it
To make sure you are drinking enough a good way is to gulp down a decent amount each time, instead of sipping- you will never get through a sufficient amount throughout the day this way.
I hope this post has managed to highlight the importance of hydration, just in case you did not take it all in- Just Drink More Water!
If you’d like more tips and info on how you can improve your health and fitness please contact our team of personal trainers. At Fitter Nottingham, we take a holistic approach to fitness, looking at all aspects of an individuals lifestyle rather than simply focusing on training.