We’ve all heard that we should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. While the eight-glass-a-day rule is now outdated in favor of more scientific evidence, it doesn’t change the fact that staying hydrated is vital to our wellbeing. Surprisingly, many of us don’t drink enough water each day, which can lead to issues like headaches, migraines, and decreased physical and mental performance. Here are a few reasons why water is important and why we should drink lots of it.
Helps You Maintain Peak Performance
With so much of our bodies being made up of water, it should come as no surprise that dehydration can affect physical performance. The human body can lose up to 10% of its body weight during strenuous exercise, which leads to increased fatigue, reduced motivation, and reduces overall performance over time. This is why it’s so important we drink enough fluids and stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. Ensuring you drink enough fluid helps replace any water lost through sweating and helps you perform at your absolute best.
Improves Brain Function
You’ve likely felt a bit woozy, slow, or light-headed on a particularly hot day or after strenuous exercise, and this is a direct result of dehydration affecting your mental performance. Just like losing water during exercise affects physical performance, losing just 1-3% of your body weight in fluids due to dehydration can have a noticeable effect on brain function. Staying hydrating and drinking enough water helps you stay sharp and can improve your mood, concentration, and overall brain function.
Helps Prevent and Treat Headaches
You might be surprised to learn that dehydration is commonly associated with headaches and even migraines in many people. In fact, a headache is one of the most obvious symptoms of dehydration, and simply drinking some water can help relieve a headache. For those who suffer from chronic headaches and migraines, increasing daily water intake could be all it takes to significantly improve your quality of life and lessen the frequency and intensity of headaches or migraines.
May Help You Lose Weight
There’s a reason why so many nutritionists and dieticians recommend that their patients increase their water intake. First of all, replacing sugary sodas and juices with water saves you from the extra calories from sweetened drinks. Additionally, drinking before a meal helps make you feel fuller, which leads to eating less and thus consuming fewer calories.
Several studies reported that drinking half a liter of water half an hour before meals helped participants lose significantly more weight than those who didn’t. There’s even some evidence suggesting that drinking more water can increase your metabolic rate which, in turn, increases the number of calories your body burns and helps you lose more weight.
How to Drink More Water
The amount of water you need depends on factors like your age, size, level of physical activity, and the area you live in. Regardless, it’s important to stay hydrated, so make a conscious effort to get enough water each day. Try including at least one glass of water with every snack or meal, eat more fruits and vegetables, and keep a water bottle near or with you at all times to ensure you remain sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you’re interested in learning more about how drinking more water can help with weight loss or form part of a long-term, sustainable solution to wellness, call Calgary Integrative Medicine today at 403-202-7272 or get in touch with us online to book a consultation.