If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent the last week filling and refilling your water bottle, trying to stay hydrated in the heatwave.
When the temperature rises, one of the main pieces of advice we hear constantly is to keep drinking water, throughout the day, to replace the fluids we lose through sweat. And your body will certainly thank you for all that extra hydration.
60% of the human body is comprised of water. It’s essential for the health and function of every system, from the brain to your gut. Dehydration can lead to a whole host of knock-on effects which impact our ability to function, many we might not realise have anything to do with low levels of H2O.
So, what are the benefits of drinking water?
So, what are the benefits of drinking water, beyond quenching thirst and cooling us down? It turns out, quite a lot …
- It increases your brain power
When we’re flagging, many of us reach for a coffee or an energy drink, in order to give us a boost. While that quick release of sugar and caffeine might temporarily get us firing on all cylinders again, it’s far better to reach for the water.
Our brains are 73% water, so it makes sense that if we’re dehydrated, we’ll struggle to focus and stay alert. Even 2% dehydration can have a big impact on your ability to perform tasks which require concentration or memory skills.
So do your brain, memory and mood a favour and keep topping up that water bottle.
- It helps you ‘go’
A cornerstone of good health is your gut function. A healthy digestive system needs to be able to extract nutrients from your food and efficiently process and remove the remaining waste. But, if you’re dehydrated, your digestive system can’t work as well, leading to problems like constipation.
- It gives your immune system a boost
Are you someone who often picks up every little cold and sniffle? Poor immunity can result from not drinking enough. Water helps to carry oxygen to the body’s cells, keeping it functioning properly. It also flushes harmful toxins from the body. It’s a commonly overlooked benefit of drinking water which could have a positive impact on your health when cold and flu season comes around.
- It banishes bad breath
Bad breath can be a clear sign of dehydration, as bacteria from food build up in your mouth and on your tongue, without the saliva to wash it away. Keep on swigging that water to help keep your mouth healthy, and bad breath at bay.
- It helps maintain your weight
If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t underestimate the importance of staying hydrated.
A natural appetite suppressant, it’s always worth reaching for a glass of water, before a snack, in case the hunger you’re feeling is actually thirst. Having a large serving of water before each meal can also help fill you up, meaning you cut down on your portion size and still feel satisfied. It also helps the digestion process, reducing bloating.
- It prevents backache
It might seem strange, but dehydration is often a lesser-known cause of back pain. As the bones in your spine are supported by discs which contain water in their centre, dehydration can negatively impact those discs, causing pain in your back.
- It can improve your skin
The skin is an organ, and it’s made of 60% water. Dehydration will naturally impact your skin, causing it to be dry, flaky, and dull. Skin which is lacking in water is also more prone to wrinkles.
Drinking plenty of water can help your skin maintain moisture, stay soft, and look youthful.
- It keeps cramps and sprains away
A lack of water can often lead to cramping in the muscles. It can also make you more prone to sprains as dehydration can lead to depletion of the natural lubricant in your joints.
Drinking plenty of water can help you stay supple, flexible, and less likely to experience sprained ankles or soreness after exercise.
When water isn’t enough
Looking at our list, it’s clear that simply getting enough hydration can be the key to improving lots of areas of our health, from banishing bloating to getting your skin glowing. But if H2O isn’t hitting the spot when it comes to easing some of these problems, it could be time to take a closer look at your diet.
If you’ve noticed that you regularly seem to experience these types of symptoms, but you aren’t sure why, it may be worth taking a closer look at the foods you’re eating to understand if something in your diet could be the cause.
A common recommendation is the elimination diet, where you remove one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel. But this process can take a long time. And, although many of us commonly react to a few different ingredients, the elimination diet is often abandoned when the first trigger food is found, leaving an incomplete picture of what’s causing the problem.
Get answers faster with Smartblood
When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company. At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods.
Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.