I bet your mom told you this already and I'm not your mum, but I’ll do it again, just to make sure. Drinking plenty of water is probably the most important thing when it comes to being healthy. Why? Well, hydration. But there is of course some more details to the ‘Why’.
I’m currently sitting in a café in Bali as I’m writing this (#digitalnomadwanker) and it’s hot. And sweaty. And I’m doing my outmost best to sip my 1.5 l of water to then refill the bottle at this place before leaving (free water, yes please). Because drinking water is important and I know that very much. However, since not working in an office anymore and not having my water bottle literally next to my screen where my eyes can see it, it’s not always very obvious that I should drink. Those gentle reminders of my bottle really helped. Now, it’s more like. Wake up, realise you ran out of water and you can’t drink tap water, go to shop, buy a bottle. Finish it until after yoga. Then have breakfast, walk, walk some more, sweat, sweat some more, have cake. Walk, sweat. Dinner. And before you know it the afternoon went without drinking more water, because you know, life is pretty magical and exciting here.
So, the benefits you ask. Like for real, not just ‘you should drink a lot of water”.
First of all, our bodies are made of about 60% water - cool, right? That’s why the moon can really affect us in many different ways. The moon can move entire oceans after all! But that’s for another time. What does all that water in the body do? Help digest, transport, absorb, create saliva and maintain the body temperature.
Et voila, je presente, benefits:
Brain - Studies show that even very mild dehydration can have effects on many functions of the brain. You might lose the ability to concentrate and even develop a headache. Isn’t that the first common answer for many when they mention a headache? ‘Drink some water, love!’ Other studies have even shown increased levels of anxiety and fatigue with dehydration.
Digestion - Drinking all that water also helps with your number twos. To keep your digestive system smooth and your food moving through effortlessly, your body needs liquid. Hence, low water consumption can be associated with constipation. On that note however, it’s recommended to not drink during meals as this can dilute the digestive juices and reduce the absorption of food. Drink until 30 mins before your meal and then only an hour after and you’re good!
Kidneys - Ever heard of kidney stones? Uggh, not nice. Painful. To be avoided at all costs. And you’re lucky, it really doesn’t cost more than a little water to do that. If you’re lucky, you might even have access to free water. Gratitude. These stones can be formed due to minerals in the urinary system that get stuck and build up. A higher intake of water and fluid in general means more passing of urine through the system and with that your kidneys get flushed more often, minerals diluted.
Weight - Loss! Yes, you heard it. Keeping hydrated and drinking all that water can help with weight loss or maintaining weight. This is mainly due to increased satiety feelings and also a boost in metabolism. Which means that your total energy expenditure goes up too, with your body working hard to make the best use of the water coming in. Free calorie burning while staying hydrated. Win-win. You can even drink cold water which might give you an extra boost as your body has to work a little extra to bring the temperature down. But if you’re like me, you just can’t deal with cold water and that’s cool.
Exercise - Yah. Ever seen anyone in the gym without water? Not very common and that’s for good reason. Yes, you sweat and need to hydrate. You will otherwise feel a pretty steep decline in your physical performance. This can present in symptoms such as reduced motivation, increased fatigue and it just makes the exercise feel much harder in general - physically and mentally. And it’s also important to notice that staying hydrated during exercise will help reduce oxidative stress. This is a natural process that happens when exercising, but you don’t want those free radicals roaming around your temple, so flush them out!
Toxins - Like above, flush ‘em out those bad boys! The detoxification process needs water to flush out the stuff once it’s been processed by your liver and kidneys. Drinking lots of water will do that job for you. It’s almost like a little daily detox.
Skin - Forget about lotion or expensive creams. Water’s your best friend. It keeps your skin fresh, smooth and glowing. And it prevents - maybe even reduces - wrinkles. It’s the best hydration for when your skin is dry. Hydration from the inside, thoroughly and effectively.
And now you want to know how much water you should be drinking? That’s of course very individual. Boring answer, but it’s true. A good indication is the colour of your pee. Is it quite bright, almost clear? Good, you’re doing it right! Other indications can be headaches, fatigue, constipation and even feeling hungry when you actually ate enough - it’s your brain picking up the wrong message because it can’t function properly without water :).
And look, I get it, water isn’t exactly the most exciting drink out there (hi, wine.) But, how about pimping your drink with fresh cucumber, lime, lemon, mint, even berries or whatever strikes your fancy.
I’m off to finish my drink, laters x
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I enjoy studying, creating, exploring and most importantly eating nutritious food and balancing my life with yoga.