The following article is a guest post.
The average human is roughly 60% water, so it’s no surprise that staying hydrated is important. It keeps all our bodily systems working more effectively.
However, it’s all too easy to take water for granted.
If you’ve ever wondered whether all these experts telling you to drink more fresh water are talking rubbish then read on. We’re about to discover some of the more surprising benefits of drinking enough water each day.
1. Reduces Urinary Tract Infections.
A study from Toulouse Hospital tested how the kidney responds to reduced water intake. The scientists discovered that while kidneys are excellent at dealing with too much water, when too little is provided a range of side-effects may be encountered.
Among these, the experts discovered that low levels of water consumption are “associated with an increased risk of urinary tract infection”. Interestingly, they found that the reverse was also true; those who consume more water are far less likely to suffer from such infections.
So drink more water and significantly reduce your chances of being affected by the uncomfortable experience of a UTI.
2. Reduces Kidney Stones.
Anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to suffer from a sizable kidney stone will know just how uncomfortable this complaint can be. Kidney stones are usually formed from the build-up of minerals in the kidney, but tests show that this occurs more readily in dehydrated individuals.
In short, without the right level of hydration the kidneys simply cannot flush away all the minerals in our diet, which then build up into stones.
3. Keeps You Alert.
If you’re looking to stay fresh throughout the day, rather than start fading part way through the afternoon, then a good bet is to drink more water.
A study in 2013 tested participants to see how reduced water intake affected their overall mood and outlook, and found that “the most consistent effects of mild dehydration on mood are on sleep/wake parameters”.
In plain English, the experts found that reduced water intake generally led to lethargy and fatigue. In contrast, those who drank healthy volumes of water managed to avoid these unpleasant effects, and stayed mentally fresh for longer.
4. Fights Bad Breath.
We’ve all heard of morning breath, by why does it occur? The simple reason is that the mouth’s saliva, plus the fluids we consume, help to keep odour-causing bacteria at bay. When these fluid levels drop, so the bacteria find it easier to thrive, and so even those of us without any dental issues can suffer from questionable breath.
This is the same reason why some people report odd-smelling breath when they get hungry; eating encourages salivary flow, which in turn helps to fight bacteria in the mouth. The message is that you should drink more water to help keep your breath fresher for longer.
5. Better Aerobic Performance.
Going on a hike this weekend? If so, be sure to pack yourself a water bottle. Studies have shown that runners and other athletes see a significant increase in performance when they are suitably hydrated.
As it can take the body time to realize that it’s thirsty, it makes sense when carrying out physical activity to drink small volumes on a consistent basis to ensure your performance is maintained.
6. Supports Weight Loss.
For years, experts have been telling us to drink a glass of water with each meal in order to feel satisfied sooner. As it turns out, however, the weight loss benefits of drinking water may have been underestimated.
A Harvard study found that individuals who consume higher volumes of water overall tend to consume fewer calories, which could assist with ongoing weight loss programs. Perhaps rather more interestingly, simply increasing your intake of plain water “by one to three cups a day could decrease calorie intake by 68-205 per day”.
So with all these impressive health benefits, let me ask you if you’re ready to increase your fluid intake this week? Just try it for a few days and you might be surprised by how much better you feel.