Listen to Water. The Benefits of Staying Hydrated?
Water is an essential component of the human body, and when you realise that more than two-thirds of your body is water, the importance of staying well-hydrated becomes obvious.
Hydration is needed for digestion, blood circulation, temperature control and brain function. As a result, dehydration can compromise your body’s ability to control temperature and increase feelings of tiredness. Unsurprisingly, it also makes exercise much more difficult.
While water is clearly crucial for our bodies, but there’s surprisingly little scientific consensus about the exact amount of water an individual should consume each day. So how much water do you actually need to drink to be healthy?
The truth is, there is no magic formula for hydration. Individual needs vary depending on age, weight, level of physical activity, general health and even the climate they live in.
The National Academies of Sciences suggests that, on average, women consume approximately 2.7 litres (91 ounces) of water from all beverages and foods each day while men get about 3.7 litres (125 ounces).
According to the National Academies of Sciences, the vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide. Our bodies naturally feel thirsty when our hydration levels drop, and therefore we drink. However, there are other indicators that we might be dehydrated, one of which is urine.
Your urine can tell you whether you’re hydrated or not. Dark yellow or orange urine usually indicates dehydration, while well-hydrated urine should be pale yellow or colourless.
Is there anything healthier than water?
There’s a new trend which claims to make the healthiest beverage even healthier: alkaline water.
Simply put, alkaline water has a higher pH than regular water.
PH is the measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution which uses a scale of 0 to 14 ranging from highly acidic to highly alkaline.
The more hydrogen ions in a solution, the more acidic it is, and the lower the pH. Anything from 0-6 is considered acidic, while pH levels from 8-14 are alkaline. Pure tap water that comes out of your faucet has a pH level of 7, which is neutral; neither acidic nor alkaline. Alkaline water typically has a pH level between 8 and 9,6.
Alkaline water is enriched with essential salts and microelements such as zinc, selenium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium and Vitamin C, making it a very healthy way to hydrate.
Bottled water recently became the number one drink in the US for the first time in history, overtaking soda, which is currently declining in popularity. According to data from the research and consultancy group The Beverage Marketing Corporation, the alkaline water market has grown from being a $47m business in 2014 to a $650m business in 2018.
Make drinking water part of your routine
Keeping your body hydrated is essential, and you should aim to make drinking water part of your daily routine. To do this, you can:
- have a glass of water before your morning coffee.
- drink a glass of water right after you get out of the shower, or right before you wash your face at night. This is an easy way to add at least two glasses of water a day to your routine.
- have a glass of water when you wake up and as you’re getting ready for bed.
Drinking more water can literally change your life for the better. When you’re properly hydrated, you can digest food more easily, get a better night’s sleep and think more clearly. Learn to love the taste of water, because every single sip is good for you.