Drinking enough water is essential for so many reasons. For instance, drinking plenty of water is vital for kidney function. Unless you hydrate well, you risk becoming dehydrated, which is associated with a range of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, joint pain, headaches, and constipation. If you don't drink enough water, you'll struggle to maintain your stamina during exercise.
How much water should you be drinking?
According to the NHS EatWell Guide, you should be drinking 6-8 glasses of water every day. There is another way to decide whether or not your hydration level is sufficient: the urine test. Basically, without going into too much detail, when you're well-hydrated, your urine should be light, almost transparent yellow.
The Health Benefits of Staying on Top of Your Water Intake
There are so many benefits to drinking enough water. For example, water helps to support your brain function. According to HealthLine, 'even mild dehydration, such as losing 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.' Fluid loss can negatively affect concentration and mood, causing you to feel anxious and exhausted.
Your body needs water to produce the acids and saliva which supports your digestive function. Water also supports fibre consumptions and ensures that your body can absorb the right nutrients. Other health benefits of water include:
How does water intake affect fitness?
According to Bupa UK, 'you can lose a lot of fluid when you exercise – as much as a litre or two an hour – mainly through sweating and breathing.' For this reason, you'll need to drink more water when you're exercising. Unless you stay hydrated, your body will struggle with temperature control, and you'll feel less energetic.
Replenishing the lost amount of fluids is especially important in hot weather. In these conditions, your heart needs to work harder, and your temperature rises more quickly. Always remember to take a refillable bottle of water to any exercise class or workout.
Water Intake and Fat Loss
Drinking more water can be a fantastic weight loss aid. Evidence shows that when you drink more water, you burn more calories as a result.
One study of women who were overweight looked at what happened when you increased water intake. The study focused on a water intake of over 34oz every day. 'They found that over 12 months, this resulted in an extra 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of weight loss,' (HealthLine, 2021).
People who choose water instead of alternative beverages (such as fizzy drinks or high-calorie juices) are less likely to gain weight. If you're working towards weight loss goals, increasing your water intake can help you make progress.
Drinking water isn't just beneficial for fat loss. It's also vital for your overall health. There are so many health benefits of water, from improving your brain function to avoiding dehydration. If you struggle to drink enough plain water, you can always infuse your water with fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Try options like lemons, ginger, mint, or cucumber.
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