It is estimated that the majority of us suffer from chronic dehydration. As little as a 2% drop in water levels in your body can result in brain shrinkage, causing slower thinking, reactions and concentration. Sounds bad, right? It is especially bad news for athletes who are prone to excess sweating during a workout. More sweating without ample rehydration equals injury, pure and simple.
There are a million ways that water benefits your body all day. Essentially your body cannot function properly without a certain level of water filtering through. Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration and one that you can feel most obviously. Feeling tired in the day even after a coffee? Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink – that thirsty feeling is your body’s last resort to get you to drink.
Some important reasons to drink water throughout the day include:
Weight loss – Filling up on water can reduce the amount you are inclined to eat during the day. Often a feeling of hunger can be a misinterpreted signal and actually indicates that you are thirsty. Keeping yourself topped up with water will dramatically reduce the time you spend at the fridge.
Muscle building – Water is essential for transporting vital nutrients to the cells in your muscles. It also helps the formation of protein, which is only going to increase your muscle strength and endurance. If you are serious about building serious muscle in the gym then you must stay hydrated.
Joint lubrication – Your joints are surrounded by synovial fluid which, like much of your body, is mainly made up of water. Lack of proper hydration will lead to less synovial fluid surrounding your joints, which will inevitably lead to injury, particularly if you rely on your joints for exercise (such as during weightlifting).
Healthy skin – Everybody wants beautiful skin, right? Who needs anti-wrinkle cream when they have proper hydration!
Metabolisation – Water is crucial for the metabolisation of fat. Moving anything through the digestive tract requires hydration, and so getting rid of waste products after metabolisation is dependent on you drinking throughout the day.
Have we convinced you of how crucial it is to stay hydrated yet? The UK guidelines suggest you drink 2.5 litres a day (for men) or 2.0 litres a day (for women), however this is dependent on your activity level. If you are a very active person who sweats a lot then you need to consume more water to make up for the loss. We know some of you just don’t like water so try altering the taste by adding sliced lemon or cucumber to your water bottle – you would be surprised how great this makes it taste!