Dihydrogen monoxide as it's chemically known or WATER as everyone else knows it, is regarded as the most precious resource in nature (sorry ladies, it's not diamonds!). The human body itself is up to 60% water! So why is it that so many people seem to drink so little? Why is it that dehydration is far more common than it should be? Well, for the people who don't consume enough water each day, here are some interesting and essential facts that might change your mind about a lack of water in your daily routine.
1) Improved physical performance: losing as little as 2% of your total body water percentage can have a dramatic effect on your body (6-10% can be lost during intense physical exercise through sweat alone). Dehydration can lead to altered body temperature, increased fatigue and an increased risk of muscular injuries.
2) Dehydration can impair brain function: much the way that it impairs physical performance dehydration can also impair concentration and mood. A loss of 1-3% total body fluid volume can affect mood and increase anxiety, increase fatigue and decrease an individual's ability to concentrate.
3) It can relieve constipation: not a hot topic of conversation at a dinner party but a very crucial reason to ensure proper hydration. Simply put, drinking more water each day can relieve the painful effects of constipation by simply helping to prevent it.
4) Water can relieve kidney stones: Kidney stones are mineral crystals that form in the urinary system. These stones can be very painful when they form and cause great discomfort. Increasing the volume of water passing through the body and thus the kidneys can decrease the concentration of these minerals and reduce the likelihood of their formation.
5) It decreases hangovers: alcohol is a diuretic - meaning it causes the body to lose water. Although dehydration is not the main cause of a hangover, it can aid and exacerbate the symptoms. Simply put - drink more water when you consume alcohol and the hangover isn't quite so aggressive the next day.
6) Water consumption aids weightloss: this ties into the idea of water promoting satiety (the feeling of 'fullness') and also boosting your metabolic rate. Increasing water by as little as 500ml can increase metabolism by 25-30% over a period of 2 hrs. Drinking 2 litres a day can burn an additional 96 calories alone! Drinking cold water is even more effective as the body has to warm it up to absorb it and thus burns additional calories!
7) Improves complexion: sufficient hydration moisturizes your skin, adds a glow, keeps it fresh and also smooth. Helps to get rid of wrinkles and has long been considered the best anti-ageing treatment!
So with all this wonderful information at hand, why wouldn't you want to drink a little more water? It is generally recommended that people drink a minimum 2L per day. We generally like to err on the side of caution and suggest 3-4L per day and see the difference nature's greatest resource has to offer your body.
William McAndrew is a trainer with Vision Personal Training Randwick. He has been helping people get fit and lose the extra kilos throughout the Eastern Suburbs region and loves to share the knowledge he has gained over the years.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.