Hardly a day goes by without a new superfood, exercise regime or diet fad sweeping the headlines. We are constantly bombarded with tips, tricks and techniques to improve our physical and mental wellbeing. But one of the healthiest habits we can adopt remains fuss free, cheap and readily available; good hydration.
Drinking water is essential for living a healthy and balanced life. It is one of the few things we can consume without laboriously checking labels for unwanted ingredients and additives. Our body uses water in a multitude of ways and relies on hydration to function properly. Technically, hydration can come from a variety of beverages (carbonated drinks included), but the best way to replace the fluid that our body naturally loses is by drinking pure water.
Here are just some of the ways good hydration can help us achieve optimal health.
Drinking water has firmly cemented itself in the celebrity hall of fame as a practical way to obtain flawless and fresh-looking skin. Ask any model, actor or body conscious person what the secret is to a flawless complexion and they will often praise hydration for its dermatological healing properties.
Water replenishes the cells in our skin and can help to rid the body of unwanted toxins. When we are dehydrated our skin becomes dry and flaky and features such as wrinkles and blemishes can become more pronounced due to decreased elasticity in the skin.
Many health practitioners recommend drinking 2 litres a day (around 8 medium sized glasses) to achieve a glowing and fresh-faced complexion.
Hydration is credited for improving mood. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can trigger anxious thoughts and fatigue. This is due to our cells functioning insufficiently on a molecular level, causing our subconscious to detect a possible threat to a survival. Dehydration has also been linked to an increase in levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes stress.
While drinking water cannot cure medical conditions such as depression and anxiety, it can certainly help to alleviate symptoms of stress. In an age of fast paced living, this can be of benefit to us all.
Multiple surveys have found that many adults in the UK are on a diet ‘most of the time.’ It is hardly surprising then that companies often try to cash-in on our insecurities by persuading us to buy products that we do not need to lose weight.
However, the simple act of drinking water remains one of the most underrated tools for weight loss at our disposal. It helps to raise metabolism, improves our fat burning rate and acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
Consuming a recommended two litres per day can increase calorific burn by approximately 200 calories.
Water consumption helps our bodies to flush out waste through sweat and urination. When we are sufficiently hydrated, our body does not need to retain excess fluid, making it less susceptible to bloating and urinary tract infections.
Boost the Immune System
As the cold and dark nights start to get longer, many people will report feeling generally unwell or rundown. Light depravation can lead to SAD syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
One remedy for this is to drink more water, as good hydration has been proven to strengthen immune systems and general wellbeing.
Water carries oxygen to all the cells in our body and keeps muscles and organs functioning properly, allowing our immune system to work at full capacity. It also flushes out unwanted toxins and allows our cells to take in extra nutrients and nourishment.