We know we should be drinking it; we’re often told we should be drinking more of it, but do we know why? Water is of course essential to life. It makes up over 60% of our bodies and without it, we wouldn’t last much beyond four days in normal circumstances, and we can start to feel the effects of dehydration after as little as a few hours. This is because every living cell in our bodies needs water to function properly.
We need water to regulate our body temperature
We lose water through sweat when we exercise and when it’s hot. Sweat keeps us cool but your body temperature will rise if you don’t replenish lost fluids. Maintaining this balance and staying hydrated is so important. If you’re sweating more than usual, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Water flushes out waste and toxins
We need water to pee, poo and perspire - ultimately to excrete waste and flush out toxins. Sufficient water also enables the kidneys to do their job properly and helps to prevent kidney stones.
Water helps to prevent constipation
It’s all very well increasing your fibre intake to help keep you regular, but if you don’t drink enough water, you risk becoming constipated or making existing constipation worse.
Water loves your skin
Water carries nutrients and oxygen to your entire body, your skin included.
Adequate water intake will help keep skin hydrated and may promote collagen production.
Water helps you to lose weight
Drinking more water while dieting and exercising may help you to lose weight. The brain can’t actually tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so it’s easy to mistake thirst for a sugar craving. The next time you feel the need for something sweet, try a glass of water first. Research also shows that having water before a meal can make you feel full more quickly and promote weight loss by suppressing your appetite .
Water may improve memory and mood
Water is also important for cognitive function and mood. Research indicates that not drinking enough water can negatively impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory . It may also cause headaches and affect your mood, increasing levels of fatigue and anxiety.
How much water do we need?
How much water you need will vary according to your daily activity, and also depend on how warm it is outside. On average men need at least 2 litres of water a day, and women at least 1.6 litres, whilst the NHS recommends drinking between 6 to 8 glasses of water a day .
How to drink more water
There are plenty of ways to increase your water intake!
1)Many foods have a naturally high water content. The clue is in the name but watermelon, consisting of 92% water, is one of the most hydrating foods you can eat. Strawberries, celery, tomatoes and cucumber are also delicious, water-rich foods that are really easy to add to your diet.
2)Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day – little and often and you’ll soon smash your 1.6 to 2 litres!
3)Liven up your liquid! Not everyone finds it easy to drink enough water. Try adding fresh fruit to a glass of water or treat yourself to the new range of Pukka Aqua Herbs (£5.99 for 30ml). Pukka’s answer to cold brew tea but without the hassle and inconvenience of a teabag left in your water bottle, Aqua Herbs are natural and organic herbal elixirs that can be added to plain or sparkling water. There are three delicious flavours to choose from: Chamomile Relax , Citrus Zing and Turmeric Active . Each is a tasty, healthy alternative to sugary drinks or squash, and every 30ml bottle contains 15 servings - small enough to carry with you and a great way to get your H2O on the go!