Benefits to Staying Hydrated
For starters, our bodies are around 60% water. So making sure we have some sort of consistent intake is very important. The balance between water and electrolytes allows our bodies to have proper function and have our systems running well- nervous system and muscle function.
Fluid intake serves a bunch of purpose such as regulating body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and even maintaining healthy metabolism. Without it, the body can (and will) begin to shut down after a few days. Dehydration is no joke. Some of the symptoms of severe dehydration are altered behavior (anxiety, confusion), faintness that can't be relieved by lying down, rapid breathing, rapid pulse and even loss of consciousness.
Everyone knows the 8 glasses a day rule, but I'm here to break it to you that there's no scientific backing to this. Now, it's certainly not a harmful rule but there's been no scientific rationale behind it. However, what has been stated by nutritionist is that you should be drinking enough to where you should urinate every two to four hours and have your urine a lighter color. Rick Hall, a Phoenix registered dietitian says, " The exact amount of water needed per day really depends on the individual. For example, people who exercise are going to lose more fluids so their needs are higher."
We understand that we need fluids, that 8 glasses a day isn't necessary, we must balance between too much and too little and we know fluids can be provided by certain foods (water rich foods). What takes the ribbon, what's our best overall option? Water.
Benefits to staying Hydrated:
1. Water helps maximize performance: Hydration and physical performance go hand in hand. When 2% of your body's water content is lost dehydration can start to have a noticeable effect; reduced motivation, increased fatigue and exercise feels impossible. Optimal hydration can prevent these from happening. Intense exercise must be paired with staying hydrated to perform at your absolute best.
2. Hydration effects the brain function: The brain is definitely influenced by hydration status. Studies have shown that mild dehydration can impair function. Fluid loss of 1-3% can impair energy levels, mood and lead to reduction in memory and brain performance.
3. Hydrating can help regulate the body: Kidney stones for example. Proper hydration can help the prevention of kidney stones because high fluid intake. With the increased volume of fluids, more urine passes through the kidneys. This dilutes the build up of minerals and they're less likely to form clumps.
4. Promotes healthy weight management: Water isn't magic and won't make you lose weight but what it can do is help control calories. Substituting water for a high calorie drink (or is a good option if you have a high calorie diet and don't want to add more) can help trim calorie intake.
5. Water helps keep skin clear: Dehydration makes your skin look dry and weak but with proper hydration the kidneys can go to work properly and help your skin. Don't forget your skin is an organ, meaning it's made up of water. (Further information on skin care and hydration)
6. Water and digestion: Water aids in digestion before and after meals; helping to break down food for the body to absorb nutrients. Being hydrated also softens stool in prevention of constipation.