Benefits of water
When it comes to healthy living it’s easy to overlook the basics, which are often the strongest and quickest ways to boost your health and feel better physically and mentally. Although exercise and eating right are very important, one of the most important things you can do for your mind and body is to stay hydrated!
It’s easy to let a busy schedule get in the way of proper hydration and many people are also confused about what proper hydration means. There’s a good chance that even if you think you’re drinking enough water you are at least mildly dehydrated. Your water needs will also vary depending on the weather, the state of your health, and how much exercise you do. A good guideline is to consume at least 64 ounces of water per day, more if you work out or the temperature is warm!
Here are some reasons drinking water should be your newest, and never ending habit.
1. Water is the fundamental building block of our existence
The human body is composed primarily of water, down to each individual cell. When we allow our body to become depleted of water, there’s no hope for it to function properly and eventually it will start to shut down. You wouldn’t expect a crop to grow without proper hydration and nutrient filled soil, or a child to do well in school without adequate sleep and nutrition, and you can’t expect any human body to function properly without providing enough water to support it!
2. Improves Metabolism
Water helps increase blood circulation and allows your body’s metabolism to run efficiently. There have been studies that show an increase in metabolism as quickly as 10 minutes after consuming water and the effects can last up to an hour, increasing the metabolism up to 30%. When it comes to getting and keeping a lean body, those extra calories being burned are priceless.
Many people confuse the feeling of hunger and the feeling of thirst. It may seem like it’s an impossible thing to happen, but people tend to fix everything with food and become conditioned at a very early age that having a meal or snack will make everything better. In reality, as long as basic nutritional needs are being met, thirst is often the cause of the discomfort, even if it feels like a hunger pain.
Drinking enough water helps balance feelings, or perceived feelings of hunger. It does this in two ways. First, and perhaps most obviously, it helps fill the stomach. However it also helps the body and brain communicate that there isn’t actually a need for food. Drinking a glass or two of water about 30 minutes before meals is a good way to make sure you don’t overeat.
4. Increases Energy
Since water creates about 60% of your body’s total weight, it makes sense being dehydrated, even very slightly, can affect how you feel. When your body loses water, all of its processes begin to slow down. This includes cognitive function, organ functions, and blood flow—creating a feeling of lethargy. If you’ve been feeling more tired or sluggish than normal, try increasing your daily water intake. You’ll likely find your energy level spikes dramatically in just a day or two!
5. Boosts Weight Loss
Water contains no calories. It’s a great way to feel like you’re consuming something without absently increasing your calorie intake and sabotaging your journey to a lean, strong body. It also helps your body break down fat cells and helps lubricate your joints, helping prevent aches and pains, and even helps reduce the chances of experiencing cramps during exercise—meaning you can burn more fat and calories with less discomfort!
6. Increases Memory, Focus, and Mood
The brain needs adequate oxygen in order to function and water helps carry oxygen to the brain. A decrease in water of as little as 1% of your body weight can greatly reduce your brain function. This can lead to difficulty focusing, a feeling of mental fogginess, reduced ability to remember things, and delayed responses.
Just like brain function, all of the other organs in the body are affected negatively by dehydration as well. Each organ in the human body is made of primarily water. When dehydrated, they begin to shrink and struggle to perform their intended function. Staying well hydrated helps cushion your organs and allows them to focus with optimal efficiency.
8. Aids Digestion and Decreases Bloating and Water Retention
Water helps keep stomach acid diluted, which can reduce feelings of heart burn and nausea that can be associated with strong acid. Drinking enough water also helps your body release extra water it may be holding on to. When the body doesn’t think it’s going to get enough water to sustain its function (or when too much salt is consumed) it holds on to extra water. Regularly consuming water throughout the day helps train your body to release that extra water, making you look slimmer and feel less bloated.
9. Helps Regulate Body Temperature
The body is designed to sweat as a cooling mechanism, which depletes the body’s water supply. Making sure you stay hydrated and replace water that is lost through sweat and activity will help your body maintain a cooler temperature when it’s hot out.
10. Promotes Healthy Skin and Helps Reduce the Signs of Aging
Water increases blood flow, including to the capillaries that help support the surface of the skin. This helps the skin regenerate, heal, and prevents the signs of aging from occurring as quickly. Proper hydration can even help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that may exist as a result of on-going dehydration.
Here at the Fresh Start Boot Camp, we show a very thought provoking DVD, called ‘Food Matters’, in which experts from around the world talk about the importance of good hydration and water consumption. Experts such as Phillip Day and Robb Wolf strongly agree that drinking at least half a litre of water on waking up from your night sleep will help in hydration and fat loss. In other words, it gets your bowls moving first thing in the morning and gets rid of those horrible toxins and acids that have built up over night. At the start of our camps we issue our guests with a nice big 2 litre bottle of water, just to help them along!