We all know that drinking more water leads to better health. But what does that really mean for our bodies?
Thanks to the science and research that has been conducted on the impacts of water on our bodily functions, we now know more than ever before about the benefits of hydration.
As we’re well aware, our bodies are made up of between 70-80% water depending on our age and body type. It is a vital resource for our survival.
Yet, drinking pure water and plenty of it, is something that not many of us are unable to achieve on a daily basis.
In a recent report, it was found that 62% of the UK don’t drink the recommended daily allowance.
With so many of us not making water a large part of our day, we thought we’d reveal the link between water and better health.
After all, we all want to live a happy and healthy life, and water plays a vital role in helping us to achieve that.
Water helps our brain in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. These help us to regulate our emotions and build connections with the world around us.
Scientific studies have shown that when we become dehydrated we may temporarily lose volume in our brains. Like a sponge, our brains slightly shrink when we don’t drink enough water.
Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. Affecting our mood, reducing our cognitive and motor skills, and affecting our memory.
It’s been found that dehydration by 1-3% can impair our brain function dramatically. This includes leading to severe problems with thinking and reasoning.
You may have seen such examples of this state of dehydration in films, where a dehydrated character hallucinates or forgets where they are.
One study has even suggested that being severely dehydrated while driving is almost as dangerous as drink driving. This is due to dehydration reducing concentration and reaction time.
Further medical research on brain dehydration has also discovered that it can increase our perception of pain. During the study, men showed more pain activity in the brain when they were dehydrated than when they were given enough water to drink.
Since our brains are made of up to 70% water, drinking enough water helps us to think, focus and stay alert.
Our digestive system needs a good water supply to function. By drinking lots of water we support our body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients from food sources and enable it to move through our body.
Digestion starts in our mouth when we eat our food. Water first helps us to create enough saliva to chew and reduce our food so that it can enter our stomachs.
Water then plays a part again by helping our body to generate enough stomach acid to process the food we eat.
The first sign of dehydration during digestion will be heartburn or acid reflux. This is due to the acidity level in the stomach rising.
Once we have gained the nutrients we need, our food waste then passes into the large intestine where water again, helps to pass it out of our body.
If we don’t drink enough water the large intestine soaks up water from food waste. This makes waste in our intestine more dense and difficult to pass.
Dehydration can lead to digestive problems such as constipation and an overly acidic stomach. If poor hydration continues it can eventually lead to an increase in heartburn and stomach ulcers.
When we think of the link between water and better health, you may not immediately consider your skin. But your skin is also an organ.
Just like any other organ in your body, the skin is also made from a high volume of water. This means it needs regular water intake to maintain a healthy form.
Dehydration can affect our skin in a number of ways.
To begin with, when we are dehydrated, our skin can become dry and flaky. As well as feeling uncomfortable, it can also increase the amount of spots we gain.
Water rids our bodies of toxins, and when this cannot happen many people experience an increase in poor skin conditions.
The skin is often most affected by the beginning of dehydration as our body makes our vital organs the priority. So while your other organs are using what’s available, your body will draw water away from the skin in order to preserve your life.
As well as the immediate effects of dehydration, a lack of regular water intake can start to take its toll on our overall appearance.
Our skin loses it’s natural elasticity as we age, making it harder for water to enter our cells. This means that as we age our skin is far more prone to dehydration.
While we cannot stop the aging process by drinking water, we can help to ensure our skin remains healthy and well-nourished as we age.
Our bodies do an incredible job of keeping us cool on hot days, or when we’re taking part in an intense workout.
Thanks to the sweat our body can produce, we have a natural cooling system that regulates our body’s temperature.
Your body stores water in the middle layers of the skin. It comes to the surface as sweat when your body gets hot. As the sweat evaporates it cools the body.
As water helps your body create sweat, your body needs plenty of water to regulate your body’s temperature.
Not being able to regulate your body temperature can lead to physical strains on the body and sickness. Symptoms to look out for include dizziness, headaches, weakness, and cramping.
Even if you do not work out regularly, but live in a warm climate, it is highly recommended that you drink plenty of water to maintain good health.
Drinking water is not often associated with a healthy immune system. However, drinking water regularly has been related to building a stronger immune system.
Water helps to carry oxygen to your body’s cells and pumps up those cells around the body to help them reach your vital organs.
Cells that are full of oxygen mean that our muscles and organs can work to the best of their ability. Helping us to feel healthy, fit and strong.
Water is also good for flushing harmful toxins out of the body. The more water we drink the better our kidneys can work at filtering out any unwelcome bacteria. Rather than this bacteria building up in other parts of the body, water moves it to the kidneys where it passes as urine.
A great way to think of drinking water is like a cascading waterfall going over your organs and helping to wash away any bacteria.
The link between water and better health are clear, and yet we still struggle to see drinking water as a priority.
When our body requires a regular amount of water intake, make it your mission to learn how you can increase your daily drinking water.