The benefits of drinking water

Water is one of the most important factors for good health. Since our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water, it seems obvious that we need to drink plenty of good quality water. However many people just don’t drink anywhere near enough. It’s perhaps one of the most overlooked causes of health problems in today’s world.

I always drink a lot of water. I try to carry a drink bottle everywhere I go. Last week on my way to Sydney I forgot to buy a bottle of water for my flight and I honestly didn’t know how I’d survive. I was so thirsty! When the flight attendant finally came past with drinks, I asked for two cups and went back for three more.

It’s been advised that an average adult needs to drink about 3 litres of water a day. With busy lifestyles today, often people forget to drink enough water and later experience signs of dehydration or in many cases do not even know that they are dehydrated. How to know you have enough water in your system? An easy way to tell is to look at the colour of your pee. If it’s not clear then it’s likely you aren’t drinking enough water.

Think of it this way. Every organ, cell and tissue in your body needs water to maintain temperature and function properly. When you sweat on a summer’s day or after a gym workout, it’s a visual sign to show how your body uses water to maintain temperature. The body also loses water through digestion and breathing. So it’s very important to be mindful of your water consumption and re-hydrate yourself accordingly whenever you can. If you don’t drink enough then that means you are dehydrated. Dehydration causes things like headaches, constipation and if continued over a few years, it is going to cause serious health problems.

The best time to drink is between meals at least 15 minutes before eating or 1 hour after. This is because drinking too much while eating dilutes stomach acid and isn’t good for digestion. My favourite way to start the day is to drink a litre of warm water first thing in the morning. I then drink a litre before lunch and a litre in the afternoon between meals.

The type of water is also important. My first choice of drinking water is spring water. I get it delivered to my home by my local supplier. My second choice is carbon-filtered tap water using a simple carbon block filter. This cleans up tap water fairly well and helps reduce chlorine but it doesn’t filter out other chemicals like fluoride or heavy metals. Carbon filters also need to be changed regularly as bacteria can build up. The downside is it’s hard to tell when it’s required to be changed.

Here are my top 6 benefits of drinking enough good quality water:

1. Increases energy and brain function

When there’s not enough water in the body, it can’t run as efficiently and then you feel tired. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Since the brain is mostly water, hydration influences concentration, memory and mood. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration affects brain function.

2. Prevents and relieves headaches

Headaches and migraines are commonly caused by dehydration. Drinking enough water helps prevent them.

3. Flushes toxins out of the body

Drinking water is fantastic to detoxify and helps to clean the body and flush out toxins which build up.

4. Promotes weight loss

Drinking water increases metabolism and helps the body to function better so it will burn fat more efficiently.

5. Clear skin

Water keeps the skin cells hydrated and promotes clear healthy skin.

6. Prevents constipation

The colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration so drink adequate water to promote regularity and good colon health.

These are the benefits of drinking water.