It’s been so hoooot over the past 2 months, and the heat has got me feeling like a dried prune, so much so that I can’t wait for the coolness that comes with the rainy season to hit. Lately, I’ve been going on about liking water so much, I’m going to take it a step further and talk about drinking it! The importance of water just can’t be stressed enough. We can go weeks without food, but only a few days without water. It plays such a vital role in nearly every bodily function we have. Because of the heat, I’ve been making an effort to replenish my system with lots of water, in the hopes of gaining some of the benefits of staying hydrated.
Helps to maximise physical performance
You must have seen those movies of people hallucinating in the desert due to lack of water right? Obviously those are extreme cases, with an added touch of cinematic flavour but with our overall bodies being made up of at least 60% water, you can imagine how a lack of its refill can lead to such a thing. The quality of our physical and mental performances can suffer, particularly during high intensity activities or high heat. This can result in dehydration which may affect mood, memory and increased fatigue, all of which can make moving about and getting things done more difficult.
Can help to prevent headaches
Ever had a hunger headache, which you didn’t know was a hunger headache till you ate and it miraculously disappeared? Turns out you can have a ‘lack-of-water’ headache too. All headaches are not created equal, with tension headaches, sinus headaches and full-blown migraine attacks, the causes and symptoms may vary from person to person but headaches generally thrive on dehydration and several studies have shown that water can help to relieve their symptoms or stop them from worsening. Curing a headache by natural means still beats reaching out for a pill to me.
Promotes healthy weight management
Drinking water can also help to maintain a healthy weight as it boosts our metabolic rate, ( it has zero calories) and helps to flush out waste products and toxins from the body. When we are dehydrated, waste products from our daily diet are more likely to be retained. This can lead to a feeling of bloating and sluggishness, which can add a couple extra pounds to our waistline. Re-hydrating helps the kidneys to filter toxins and waste, while enabling the organ to retain essential nutrients.
Most people also ignore how many unhealthy and sugary calories they consume in soft drinks on a daily basis, (me included). Replacing even a few high-calorie drinks each day for water will have positive long-term weight management benefits as well.
Maintains skin, hair and nails integrity
Our skin is an organ, and just like other parts of our body, without water, it likely won’t function at its best. Hydration helps the skin to optimise circulation and increases the elasticity of our skin which helps to keep dryness and flakiness at bay. That aside drinking adequate amounts of water can also be good for hair and nails as it increases the integrity of the structures, meaning they are less likely to thin out, turn brittle and break. This arguably makes water the best bargain beauty product out there.
There are so many benefits to drinking water that it’s impossible to list them all in just one post. Needless to say, if you want to be healthier, drinking water is one of the simplest things you can do, though not necessarily the easiest. True, water is pretty tasteless and drinking it isn’t always as tasty as having a bottle of coke or fanta in hand but one thing it is, is cheap and worth it. So If you have a hard time drinking that much plain water, start slow and try infusing it with fruits like lemons or mangoes to add a bit more flavour to it.
Other handy tips to make keeping hydrated easier include, keeping a water filled water bottle with you at all times (God knows in this heat I definitely rely on this), eating your water by consuming water rich fruits like melons and diluting sugary drinks if you really can’t bring yourself to try the cold turkey method of straight plain water, (that’s okay too. Slow and steady also wins the race).
The general rule of thumb for the recommended amount of water intake is about 2 litres a day. However, it’s important to note, that individual needs may vary So go on guys, get drinking!