Water is essential to life as we understand it. There is no life within our current understanding that can survive without it and humans are no exception. Bur it’s not just about survival, there are so many benefits to staying properly hydrated. Here are some examples of how you can benefit from drinking more water.
Hydrating The Brain
Although the brain takes up around 2% of body mass it is responsible for around 20% of energy consumption. It’s no surprise when you consider that it’s responsible for controlling everything the rest of your body does. To function well the brain needs to be hydrated so the first few points are focused on how hydration helps the brain function
- 1. Water helps your brain cells communicate with each other
- 2. Water helps your body to clear out waste that would otherwise impair brain function
- 3. Water carries nutrients to you brain
Linked to these factors, studies have found that staying hydrated leads to:
- 4. Faster decision making
- 5. Improved short term memory
- 6. Improved focus
- 7. More alertness
- 8. Improved performance on tests (cognitive tests and in an educational setting)
- 9. Increased learning ability
- 10. Generally improved cognitive function
Hydrating for Sleep
- 11. Drinking more water helps you sleep better
Studies show that hydration levels have an impact on sleep quality too. Improved sleep brings with it many additional benefits (including enhancing many of the points listed above). Here are some of the ways that drinking more water can improve sleep.
- 12. Longer sleep cycles.
Studies show that dehydration can lead to shortened sleep cycles, causing sleep to be less restful and less refreshing.
- 13. Temperature Regulation
higher body-fluid levels have been shown to improve temperature regulation. This is especially helpful in achieving more restful sleep.
Hydrating for Mood
- 14. Hydration improves your mood
Hydration levels also impact on your mood and emotional wellbeing. Your body needs to be well hydrated to correctly produce and regulate hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
- 15. Dehydration worsens stress
Research shows that people produce more cortisol (referred to as a stress hormone) when dehydrated.
- 16. It’s good for your skin.
if you have bad skin then the two most impactful things you can do to improve it are: Drink more water and sleep more.
How To Stay Hydrated
In summary, something as simple as drinking more water can improve mental and physical health, mood, sleep and cognitive function. Why wouldn’t you want to embrace all those benefits for such a small amount of effort?
It really doesn’t need to be complicated. Just drink more water. Find a way that helps you to do this. Some people prefer to have bottles of water with them that they can sip and refill easily. Other people find it easier to have glasses of water as they are more likely to drink it that way. Starting the day with a big glass of water as a habit before doing anything else.
How Do I Know If I’m Drinking Enough?
There really is no single rule that says how much you should drink. It does depend on your activity levels, the temperature, diet and more. A simple rule of thumb is to look at the colour of your urine. If you pee and it’s dark in colour then you are already dehydrated – drink more. If it is completely clear then you have been drinking more than you need to (but this isn’t really a problem unless it’s excessive all the time). A light straw is the perfect colour.
Common signs of dehydration include:
- very infrequent bathroom visits
- Dry eyes, skin, mouth and/or that
- Stress, irritability, mood swings and increase anxiety
- Fatigue and tiredness, a lack of mental alertness.
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