Is water the key to a happy, healthier life?
Water – the elixir for life
We all know we should be drinking more water, but why? Water accounts for two-thirds of our body weight, so it’s no surprise to hear that it is vital in maintaining several key bodily functions, including cognitive activity, the removal of toxins, and regulating body temperature.
It might come as a surprise, though, to know that a fifth of our daily water intake (20%) actually comes from food, so eating those yummy moisture-rich foods – such as fruits and salads – will help us stay hydrated too!
The benefits of drinking water
Water is vital in sustaining both our physical and mental wellbeing. The obvious benefits of drinking water include helping to create saliva (essential for breaking down food and aiding the digestion process), helping prevent constipation, and dissolving the key nutrients required for optimum wellbeing.
But what you might be less aware of are the benefits water can bring to our mood and cognitive capabilities. Even mild dehydration can impact concentration, memory, and hand-eye coordination. Dehydration is also known to cause fatigue, confusion and anxiety. Who knew that just drinking a little more water every day could literally improve your mood!
And there is of course another awesome benefit – drinking more water could actually make you look and feel younger. Dehydration can lead to wrinkling of the skin, and conversely, drinking more water may actually increase collagen production and make your skin appear tighter, and brighter!
How much is enough, and when?
It depends. Everyone is different and it’s important to listen to your body – it knows best! However, the NHS advises drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day, including lower-fat milk (yucky, as I love my once-a-day glass of whole milk, less processed and full of richness!) and sugar-free drinks. However, there are times when it might be appropriate to drink more.
In the heat: On a hot day, it’s perfectly normal to feel thirstier and you should drink more water accordingly. But why does this happen? Our bodies work best within a specific temperature range, so when we start to get too hot, our bodies will find ways to cool us down. It does this by increasing blood flow to the skin and sweating. Both of which require water! Extreme sweating can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to replace these lost fluids.
During exercise: Your average gym bunny might lose 1-2 litres of fluid an hour through sweating and breathing, so this needs to be replaced to avoid dehydration. Water acts as fuel to your muscles, helping boost energy and avoid cramps. Drinking more water can have a profound impact on your workout routine. Hydrating before exercise will prevent your core temperature from rising too quickly and your heart having to work even harder. Remaining hydrated throughout will help you get the most from your exercise session.
Water is a truly amazing resource and essential to all living beings. So, when you next leave the house or think about your Pilates class, don’t forget to fill your water bottle and stay hydrated at all times!
To experience the benefits of Pilates to your physical and mental wellbeing, please visit our website at https://www.mytimepilates.co.uk/whats-on/, where you will find a range of studio and online courses for all ages and abilities. And don’t forget your water bottle!