The importance of hydration in helping to lead a healthy lifestyle
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 55 seconds.
For anyone looking to quickly improve their health and wellbeing, drinking more water is a great way to go. A study recently found that around 89% of people in the UK don’t consume enough water each day. Which means that millions of people are losing out on the tremendous benefits of water, regardless of whether they visit the gym or not. Here’s a look at some reasons why staying hydrated is so important.
The importance of hydration
Helping you stay energised throughout the day
One of the immediate effects of not drinking enough water is to find yourself feeling sluggish and tired. This is because water is essential in helping your body to perform all manner of basic tasks. Just by drinking regularly throughout the day, you should see your energy levels pick up and, more importantly …
Allowing you to push yourself harder during workouts
Once you hit the gym, you’ll find you can sustain your workouts at a higher level for longer periods. Exercising will naturally dehydrate you anyway, and it’s crucial you have a bottle of water with you at the gym. But, just as importantly, you should not arrive dehydrated as it’s hard to pick yourself up.
Keeping your mind focused and alert
As well as feeling physically more energised, proper hydration enables your mind to work more effectively as well. You’ll find that your brain works more productively and you’re more focused and tuned into whatever work tasks you’re doing.
Eliminating unnecessary hunger pains and weight gain
As you become dehydrated, your body’s cells become depleted. In turn, they don’t have the necessary energy to function, so tell your brain to consume more food for the desired energy. By staying on top of your water intake, you can resist these impulses and cut down on unnecessary snacking and calorie consumption throughout the day.
Reducing high blood pressure levels
Your blood is made up of more than 92% water if it is at the proper level of hydration. At this level, blood can then flow freely around your arteries and veins without complication. However, this becomes harder as dehydration sets in. In turn, this can lead to higher blood pressure levels.
Combating high cholesterol
High cholesterol is a problem for many these days, regardless of whether you hit the gym regularly and maintain a healthy diet. The simple task of keeping yourself hydrated can help reduce any risks you face. Failing to drink enough water has the effect of causing your body to create more cholesterol in order to allow cells to function properly.
Maintaining a healthy digestive system
Regularly drinking enough water allows your body’s digestive system to flow smoothly without complaint. This means it can pass out any waste and harmful toxins before they start to affect your health. In turn, this can also help prevent more serious issues like IBS, bloating and ulcers.
Speeding up the process of cartilage and joint repair
Your body’s cartilage and joints naturally take a beating every day. Just from walking around the home and office. If you exercise as well, then this beating increases. This in itself isn’t a problem, but it does become one if you don’t drink enough. By staying properly hydrated, you allow your cartilage and joints to rebuild properly after workouts. They also remain better “padded” as they are made up mostly of water.
Top tips for helping you to stay hydrated
Ensuring you drink enough water throughout the day can oftentimes be a tricky task. Many people are not used to drinking the recommended 3 litres plus a day, and making the switch can be tough. Well, luckily there are a few simple methods to help ensure you stay hydrated all throughout the day. Here are our top 5 tips.
1. Make your water taste better
Fruit infused water is one of the health industry’s hottest trends at the moment, so why not get on board? A popular, morning infusion includes mint and lemon. Feel free to experiment with all different kinds of fruit, and leave it overnight in the fridge to get maximum nutritional benefit and flavour.
2. Cut back on drinks that dehydrate you
As well as drinking more water, it’s important that you cut out certain drinks that are actually dehydrating you. This includes things like tea, coffee and alcohol.
3. Break the day up into chunks
Rather than saying, “OK, I need to drink 4 litres of water today because it’s hot and I’m hitting the gym”, set yourself some more manageable targets. For example, you might want to drink 1 litre by 11am, another litre by 3pm, a litre during your workout and then 1 more litre before bed. Simple!
4. Look at what you’re eating
Food is also a great source of water, so focus on eating more foods which are naturally healthy and which have high water-content. This includes many fruits and vegetables, notably oranges, watermelon and cucumber.
5. Check your pee!
A good way to make sure you’re drinking enough is to consciously start checking how your pee looks whenever you visit the toilet. It should be lightly coloured and you should be peeing a moderate amount at regular intervals throughout the day.
Making changes today
Now that you understand the importance of hydration, it’s time to get started. Right now. Create a plan of how much you need to start drinking and then use our top tips to help ensure you are hitting your daily targets. There is no hard and fast rule on how much you should be drinking each day.
However, doctors generally agree that around 3 litres a day is good for men and 2 for women. But if you are exercising and will be in a hot environment, then more is advised. As proud proponents of leading an active lifestyle, we are big believers in drinking enough water. So, if you need any more help or advice then just come on in and speak to a personal trainer or the team on your next visit.