Water in glass

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

We have all been told to drink more water at least once in our lives. Whether you had a headache, had dry skin, were ill, constipated - you name it, I am sure someone has told you to drink water for it. While some of the claims surrounding water consumption have no scientific backing and are just a bit bonkers, there are many important benefits of staying hydrated so let's go through some of the truths and talk about how much water we really need to be drinking.

We are 60% water

The human body is around 60% water, it is in all of our tissues, both inside and outside our cells. Our cells require water to function normally, the balance of water inside vs. outside our cell is vital to their health. Fluids carry nutrients to our cells, help us get rid of toxins, helps regulate our temperature, participates in metabolic reactions and keeps our tissues hydrated. Humans can only survive about 3-4 days without water!

Keeping things regular

A lot of our water balance occurs in our digestive tract, simply put, if our bodies are dehydrated, our poo will be too! Drinking plenty of water helps prevent constipation and keeps things regular and moving on through.

Brain function

Our brains are 75% water and research has shown that even slight dehydration can affect our mood, memory, cognitive ability and even our pain threshold! Dehydration can also cause headaches, our brain actually shrinks when it is dehydrated and this is what causes that nasty, throbbing headache.

Exercise performance

Not only is it important to stay hydrated while exercising to replace water lost as sweat, it actually helps our muscles work better. Alongside regulating our temperature and bringing our muscles nutrients, this means it is extra important to sip water while you work out.

Tissue hydration

As we have said before, our tissues are filled with water. Our skin and eyes are particularly sensitive to water levels, if we aren't drinking enough our skin and eyes can shrink with dehydration. When we are drinking plenty, the cells are nice and plump, which means are our skin is plumper and smoother and our eyes won't feel dry and our vision will be optimal. Because water also helps flush out toxins, it removes toxins from the skin and keeps our skin cells healthier.

So how much should we drink?

In the UK, it is recommended we drink 1-2 litres a day, thats around 6-8 big glasses. This number will vary depending on your size, someone taller and bigger will need more whereas someone more petite will need less. Remember that if you are exercising or are in a hot climate, you will need even more. Buy a water bottle with measurements on the side so that you can keep track of how much you are having a day. Remember that tea counts towards your water intake too!

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