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Water, water, everywhere …

THINK of water as a nutrient your body needs, which is present in liquids and foods. Both these are essential, to replace the large amounts of water lost each day.

Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, passing urine, and bowel movements, and these losses must be replaced, daily, for good health. When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated.

It’s no secret that water is vital to your health. In fact, water comprises 45-75% of your body weight, and plays a key role in heart health, weight management, physical performance and brain function.

Studies show that upping your water intake may offer many health benefits. However, the amount of water you need is a subject of controversy, and drinking too much can harm your health.

These are the benefits and downsides of drinking three litres of water, per day:

Supports overall health

Staying well hydrated is incredibly important, as water is needed for a variety of bodily processes, and is central to nearly every aspect of health and wellness.

In particular, it helps to regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, maintain brain function, and enhance physical performance.

Not getting enough water can be detrimental, potentially causing side effects like nausea, fatigue, constipation, headaches and dizziness. Therefore, drinking three litres of water a day may help you meet your hydration needs, to support better health.

May boost weight loss

Increasing your water intake may aid weight loss. Drinking water just before meals can be especially useful, as it can promote feelings of fullness, and reduce appetite.

One study of 24 people found that drinking 500ml of water before breakfast reduced the number of calories consumed by 13%.

Similarly, a small, 12-week study showed that drinking 500ml of water before each meal, as part of a low-calorie diet, increased weight loss by 44%, compared with a control group.

Drinking water may also temporarily boost your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn, throughout the day.

In a study of 16 people, drinking 500ml of water increased metabolism, temporarily, by 24%, over a one-hour period, which may aid weight loss.

May improve skin health

Some research suggests that drinking more water can help keep your skin supple and smooth.

For example, a month-long study of 49 people determined that increasing water intake, by two litres a day, improved skin hydration, especially in those who typically drank under 3.2 litres of water, daily.

Another study in 40 older adults linked higher fluid intake to increased skin hydration and skin-surface pH. Skin pH plays an integral role in maintaining your skin’s barrier, which can influence the risk of certain skin conditions.

Additionally, a review of six studies found that increased water intake reduced dryness and roughness, increased skin elasticity, and enhanced hydration.

Other benefits

Drinking more water may offer several other benefits as well, including:

*Increased regularity: multiple studies associate low water intake with a higher risk of constipation. As such, drinking more water may promote bowel movements

*Kidney stone prevention: one review of nine studies tied higher fluid intake to a lower risk of kidney stones

*Headache relief: research suggests that drinking more water can alleviate headaches caused by dehydration or fluid loss.

*Mood improvement: according to one review, increasing water intake may aid both brain function and mood, especially in children and older adults.

*Enhanced athletic ability: while dehydration can impair exercise performance, replacing fluids after physical activity can increase endurance, and decrease exercise-induced DNA damage.

While drinking more water may aid your health, three litres may not be the right amount for everyone. Currently, no official recommendations exist for the intake of plain water, alone. The amount you need is based on several factors, such as age, gender and activity level.

However, there are recommendations for total water intake, which includes water consumed through all foods and beverages, such as plain water, fruits and vegetables.

A total daily intake of around 2.7 litres for women and 3.7 litres for men can meet most adults’ needs. Depending on the other foods and beverages you consume, you may not need to drink three litres of water per day, to meet your fluid requirements.

Simply listening to your body, and drinking when you feel thirsty, is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re staying hydrated. In fact, most people can meet their daily needs by drinking water when they’re thirsty. However, as we get older, our thirst mechanism may not be as reliable. We can become dehydrated, without actually feeling the need to drink.

Making a conscious effort to drink water, throughout the day, is a good preventative measure. Notably, some individuals, such as athletes and manual labourers, may need more than three litres of water per day.

Too much water can be dangerous

Keep in mind that excessive water intake can make you very unwell. Drinking too much can disrupt your body’s electrolyte balance, leading to hyponatraemia, which is when the level of sodium in your blood reaches a dangerously-low level. Symptoms of hyponatraemia include weakness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and, in severe cases, even death.

Although your kidneys can excrete up to 20-28 litres (4.5-6 gallons) of water per day, they can only process 800-1,000ml of water per hour.

For this reason, it’s important to spread your water intake throughout the day, rather than drink it all in a single sitting. Additionally, be sure to listen to your body, and adjust your water intake accordingly, if you’re feeling unwell.

Tips to help you drink more

If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

Have a beverage with every snack and meal

Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.

Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag, and choose beverages that meet your individual needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=49772

Posted by on Sep 6 2019. Filed under Health & Beauty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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