Posted on July 29, 2019 by Josh Puttock

With record high temperatures this July, now more than ever, we should be driving home the importance of staying hydrated through drinking plenty of water. Not only does it cool our bodies down, but it ensures we are alert throughout the day. Let’s explore IN some detail about why water is so important.

Water and biology

Water is essential for life; without water we would not survive – simply put! Our bodies are made up of around 70% water and our brain is around 85%. Muscles also need it to stay healthy and to ensure recovery after physical output. People looking to develop well-toned and more muscular and aesthetic physiques should focus less on supplements and focus instead on taking in more h2O. When we stop hydrating our bodies, something called chronic cellular dehydration happens, it simply means the body does not have enough water to keep our cells hydrated. As a result, the cells become weakened and prone to disease. The body’s immune system is weakened as a result.

Our concentration and levels of focus are almost always quickly reduced when we become dehydrated. In addition, when it comes to physical performance, for every 1% of body weight we lose due to dehydration, our heart rate increases by 5 beats per minute. This is a result of dehydration increasing the strain on the heart’s job of circulating the blood.

Water is also important for normal day to day bodily functions, such as digestion and absorption of the nutrients we eat. The key nutrients that we require for training and energy are transported through the blood’s water. By not drinking enough, we limit the amount of carbohydrates and proteins reaching our muscles and organs.

Exercise

When we exercise we increase the amount of water we lose through sweat and breathing. With this increased loss, we reduce the body’s capability to keep the body at a regular temperature increasing our risk of heatstroke. Following on from this, dehydration is often associated with hot weather i.e. the Summer months. Drinking enough is just as important in Winter and colder conditions too. Freezing temperatures can cause a faster rate of dehydration in the body – something we often forget.

When we get thirsty after physical output, it is easy to assume that we are dehydrated, but thirst is not a good indicator of when to drink, often we are very dehydrated at the point of feeling thirsty so it is best to keep your water intake regular. People often look for alternatives to water such as electrolyte and carbonated sports drinks, but the reason why water is good for you is simply this…it contains no additives, sugars, or calories and it will provide the purest and best possible source of hydration.

Top Tips on why water is good for you

– It is the purest form of hydration

– Vital for the body’s day to day functioning and contributes to a high percentage of the body’s make up

– Contributes to keeping our mind focused, physically performing at our best and reducing the chances of disease and illness

– Can be helping in achieving successful weight loss, and effective training

How much water should we drink each day?

“The European Food Safety Authority recommends that women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day. That’s about eight 200ml glasses for a woman and ten 200ml glasses for a man.” (www.nhs.uk)

Depending on other factors, an individual should drink more for example when exercising and in hot weather.

Tips to help you keep drinking water regularly

– Keep a bottle to hand at your work desk, in the car and around the home!

– Drink for the sake of it, don’t wait till you feel thirsty

– Purposely drink 500ml 2 hours before exercising

– Drink between workout sets and at regular intervals if on a treadmill or other cardio equipment, set it as a routine as part of time intervals

– Drink water post exercise to replace lost fluids

The above is just an overview, and without getting too scientific on the reasons why water is good for you. Water is a vital nutrient required to help keep our bodies in the best possible condition and prepared for optimal functioning. It will help both the body and mind in how it works and can improve one’s wellbeing in many ways. Hydrate!