Are you drinking enough water? It’s commonly known that water is vital for the proper functioning of the body, but how exactly being properly hydrated can improve your life? In this article, you will learn the average daily water intake, besides the 7 benefits of keeping your body hydrated. You will also understand more about why being dehydrated is bad for you, the symptoms of dehydration and how it can disrupt your performance in life in many ways.
Just as a curiosity: Did you know that 60% of the body is made of water? From there, we can start to understand how important it is to be hydrated!
Daily water intake: How to stay hydrated
According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, women who appear to be adequately hydrated consume an average of 2.7 litres of total water per day (from beverages and foods). In contrast, a hydrated man consumes an average of 3.7 litres. Typically, 80% of these amounts come from water and other beverages – such as coffee -, while 20% can be ingested through food consumption.
Although anything you can drink contains water, it would be important to prioritize drinking water – rather than relying on industrialized juices, soft drinks, or processed products. Teas, juices or natural drinks can also be an option, but be aware of factors such as calories and sugar levels.
Dehydration symptoms and how dehydration affects the body
Remember that daily consumption can be higher if the individual lives in hot regions, so you should always be aware of your body’s signals. In addition to feeling thirsty, some symptoms of dehydration may involve dark yellow and strong-smelling pee; feeling of constant tiredness; dry mouth, lips and eyes; and peeing less – fewer than 4 times a day.
Dehydration decreases the body’s metabolic potential and affects its performance in essential functions and activities such as appetite, sleeping, working, exercising – or simply leading a healthy life. Because dehydration compromises many of the body’s physiological needs, you should never neglect the amount of water you drink.
5 myths and facts about drinking water
There are many controversies and questions regarding the benefits of increased water consumption, and probably the main one relates to weight loss. For this reason, we sought out relevant scientific research that could bring more insights into the main myths and facts about water consumption. Here are some useful pieces of information about drinking more water:
1. Does drinking more water improve your skin health?
You’ve probably heard that drinking water makes your skin healthier, helping balance your skin’s pH, flushing toxins, and preventing acne, but is this all true? According to this study, which sought to analyze how dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics, drinking more water can positively impact the normal physiology of the skin, keeping it more hydrated – especially in individuals who tend to drink less water.
Either way, it’s important to remember that drinking more water isn’t the only factor that affects your skin’s health. Harmful health habits such as alcoholism, smoking, and having an unhealthy diet can worsen the health of your skin – and your body as a whole -, so just hydrating yourself well is not enough. Betting on a healthy lifestyle, taking care of your skin, and keeping it hydrated and protected from the sun can be the best allies to support your skincare!
2. Does drinking more water help when you are sick?
The truth is that water can be an excellent ally for those who suffer from coughing or other throat health problems. It helps to keep the mouth clean, as well as helping to produce saliva and mucus, which prevents friction and damage. But still, what’s the best way to hydrate yourself when you’re sick? Should you drink warm or cold water when you are feeling unwell?
According to this study, hot liquids might better manage fluids in respiratory diseases than cold liquids. The Ingestion of warm liquids can increase the velocity of nasal mucus through the inhalation of water vapour – and the production of mucus helps to alleviate inflammatory symptoms. Chicken soup, for example, can be an excellent option to increase the speed of nasal mucus. Hot tea can also be another great alternative!
As always, we want to remind you to consult a doctor if you have any chronic health issues. If you suffer from any kind of health problems, never make decisions alone! Look for a professional as soon as possible.
3. Dehydration affects your mood and cognitive ability
According to another widely cited study, which sought to understand the effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and humour, there is evidence that supports the notion that the hydration state affects cognitive ability and mood.
Although this scientific article claims that there is still much to be studied in this area, research demonstrates that severe dehydration causes cognitive deficits, affecting short-term memory, and visual perception skills, besides causing mood disturbances. In contrast, adequate water consumption can improve cognitive performance – especially mood and visual attention.
4. Drinking more water helps to boost physical performance
In addition to the fact that drinking water during exercise is a great refresher, proper hydration plays a key role in your performance during exercising, keeping your joints lubricated and ensuring your body maintains control of your body temperature.
Besides that, according to this study published in the National Library of Medicine, dehydration significantly increased oxidative DNA damage during exercise, while fluid replacement with water or sports drinks alleviated it equally. In other words, drinking too little water can affect how your body recovers or make you more susceptible to injury.
In this sense, keeping hydrated may support your body to work with maximal performance and less risk of injuries!
5. Increasing water consumption helps with weight loss
Possibly, one of the most discussed issues within the health and fitness worlds is whether consuming more water helps you lose weight. In this sense, two widely cited studies support the idea that greater water consumption is associated with weight loss.
The first scientific research sought to understand whether drinking more water would promote weight loss in overweight dieting women. The study was carried out over 12 months with 173 premenopausal overweight women aged between 25 and 50. The results indicated that increases in drinking water were associated with significant body weight and fat loss over time, regardless of covariates.
Another scientific research indicates that increased water consumption suggests a weight-reducing effect in individuals who diet to lose or maintain weight. On the other hand, there is still a lack of consistent results supporting the same idea in populations of mixed weight – or that are not necessarily controlling food intake.
In any case, drinking more water often can increase the feeling of satiety, so this habit can be interesting to help in weight loss.
You should never make any kind of decision about your health alone, so look for your doctor – or nutritionist – to understand what is best for your body. You should never stop eating to lose weight!
How can I drink more water? 2 tips to keep you always hydrated!
Many people end up going into a state of dehydration simply because they forget to drink water. Whether at work, at home, or college. Two simple solutions can help you with that: carrying a large bottle and setting alarms on your phone to remind you to hydrate often.
The large bottle is practical for the simple fact that you won’t need to stop what you’re doing to fill your glass 20 times a day. There is no excuse not to hydrate yourself when carrying a 1 or 2-litre water bottle – it only depends on you!
The alarm is quite functional to ensure you hydrate frequently. If you spent the first hours of your day dehydrated and decided to drink 2 litres over a short period, not only did you not hydrate properly, but you will probably have to go to the bathroom several times – which is annoying!
Remember that your hydration must be well distributed so that your body and metabolism run at high performance all day, not just a few hours.
Founder and Editor of TheLifesty. Passionate about Health & Fitness and enthusiast about changes. Interested in everything that improves the quality of life.