Why keeping hydrated is important

As a starting point, it's worth appreciating that our body is 50-70% water - so our very survival is intrinsically linked to maintaining the right hydration levels within our body.

So, the general guidance is that we should be drinking at least 2 litres of water everyday.

The body naturally loses water throughout the day by breathing, sweating, bowel movements and urinating; so it's a case of keeping our water levels at the right levels.

If you factor in differing levels of exercise or the climates we live in, then our hydration levels can vary significantly and the recommended intake of 2 litres may not be sufficient. Similarly, if you are sick with the flu or pregnant / breastfeeding then you are likely to need to up the amount of water you are drinking.

But why is this? Keeping hydrated helps

  • Helps our memory - even a 2% loss in fluid can affect concentration, memory and reaction time. The positive impact on cognition can also have the affect of combating feelings of anxiety.
  • Increased energy - if the body is dehydrated our circulation is slowed down, thereby slowing the rate of oxygen getting to our brain thereby making you feel sluggish and less focused. Similarly, if you are dehydrated your heart is having to work harder to pump the oxygen around the body.
  • Lubricate the joints - the cartilage in our joints is over 80% water. Staying hydrated helps keep the joints lubricated and reduces the friction between the bones.
  • Helps to prevent hangovers - it would be unrealistic not to include this one...either having a glass of water after every drink and before you go to bed will help!
  • Weight loss - by keeping hydrated, we fill fuller. Having a glass of water before we eat will help to satiate our appetite whilst also helping our digestive system to function more efficiently. If we feel fuller throughout the day, we are also less likely to feel the need to snack...
  • Enable organs to function properly - higher levels of hydration ensure a good volume of water is passing through the kidneys. Higher fluid in takes help to dilute the build up of minerals in the kidney, that can turn into clumps (commonly known as kidney stones)
  • Digestive system- our digestive system needs water. Constipation can be a side affect of dehydration, as can irregular bowel movements, heartburn, gas and bloating. Mineral water is particularly good at relieving constipation.
  • Stay at the right temperature - when we are hot we sweat to cool ourselves down. If we dehydrated then the body is unable to sweat and reduce the body's temperature. If you find it hard to tolerate warm temperatures, it could well be that you are dehydrated.
  • Improved detoxification - sweat, urine and breathing are all natural ways the body expels toxins within the body. Good levels of hydration enables our body's nature processes to work
  • Reduced headaches and migraines - loss of fluid can cause the brain to contract, causing either headaches or migraines. Headaches are in fact the most common sign of dehydration.