Being hydrated offers a range of benefits to your physical and mental health. Not to mention, drinking enough water may help you lose weight.
As a general guideline, it’s recommended that adults aim to drink eight to 10 cups of water a day (one cup equals 250 ml, and this includes plain water, milk and other fluids). Every individual is different, though, and your hydration needs vary depending on your metabolism, age, medical conditions and the temperature.
Not everyone finds it easy to stay hydrated; you might not like the taste of water, or you might simply not feel thirsty throughout the day. But drinking water is an important habit to build for your overall health and wellbeing. Keep reading to discover four reasons to drink more water today, and learn some practical tips to build the habit.
There are a few reasons why drinking water can help you lose weight. For one, drinking a glass of water before a meal can reduce feelings of hunger and as a result help you eat less. Thirst can easily be confused for hunger, so ensuring you’re staying well hydrated can potentially prevent non-hungry nibbling.
The biggest way water can aid in weight loss is if you use it to replace other kilojoule-containing drinks. Having a glass of water instead of a soft drink, fruit juice or alcoholic beverage is an easy way to reduce your kilojoule intake every day.
Being dehydrated, even mildly, can impair your brain function, making you feel tired, foggy and even anxious. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that male participants performed worse on some cognitive tests and felt more fatigued and tense when slightly dehydrated.
Moreover, not drinking enough water – especially in summer when heat and humidity makes you sweat more – can lead to painful headaches. There’s a good chance you’ve experienced a dehydration headache before – the throbbing-on-all-sides kind of headache that gets worse when you move around. The good news is, drinking a few glasses of water should make these headaches go away quickly, and increasing your water intake – particularly on hot days – will help to prevent them.
Water and fibre are two vital dietary components that ensure everything moves along smoothly when it comes to your bowels. Experiencing constipation can be a sign that you’re not eating enough fibre or drinking enough fluids. Chronic constipation can lead to serious health issues.
Your body is pretty good at telling you when it needs something – when you’re hungry, your belly growls, when you’re thirsty, your mouth gets dry. But another sign that your body needs more fluids is when your skin and lips are dry, dull and cracked.
Drinking more water, especially if your intake is low to start with, can help your skin appear plump and glowing (although, unfortunately, it won’t stop you from getting wrinkles!) Research suggests that drinking over 2 litres of water per day significantly affects skin health and appearance, promoting superficial and deep hydration.