Benefits of Good Hydration

Benefits of Good Hydration

Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical functions

Water contributes to the maintenance of normal cognitive functions

Water contributes to the maintenance of normal thermoregulation

Some of the most remarkable benefits of hydration are listed below:

Brain

Adequate hydration is important for proper functioning of the brain. When we are well hydrated, brain cells are better supplied with fresh, oxygen-laden blood, and the brain remains alert. Mild dehydration, a 1% to 2% loss in body weight, can impair the ability to concentrate. Loss of more than 2% body weight due to dehydration can affect the brain’s processing abilities and impair short-term memory.

Cells

Hydration in the body is important for transporting carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients and oxygen to the cells. The cells then produce energy for the body to function. Furthermore, hydration facilitates disposal of the waste products of metabolism, enabling the right cellular chemical function.

Digestive Tract

Hydration plays an important role in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract. Water is required to dissolve nutrients so that they may be absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the cells. Insufficient hydration will slow the digestive process and chronic poor hydration can lead to constipation.

Heart

Fluids are important for healthy heart function and the correct regulation of water balance is essential to keep blood pressure within the healthy range. Dehydration decreases cardiac output which may lead to increases in heart rate and a fall in blood pressure. The circulatory system delivers a constant supply of oxygen to the brain, muscles and to all other tissues.

Kidneys

An adequate water intake is essential to keep the kidneys working well, helping them to remove waste products and excess nutrients mainly via urine. The kidneys regulate the body’s water levels by increasing or decreasing the flow of urine. The kidneys also work to control normal levels of sodium and other electrolytes. A well-hydrated healthy person’s kidneys filter approximately 180 litres of water each day: clearly most of this has to be reabsorbed to prevent excessive losses from the body.

Muscles and Joints

Water acts as a lubricant for muscles and joints; it helps cushion joints and keeps muscles working properly. Muscles and joints, in addition to the bones, are necessary for us to stand, sit, move and carry out all daily activities. Approximately 70 to 75 percent of the muscle is made up of water. Maintaining the right water balance is essential for optimum muscle function.

Skin

The skin constitutes a defence against pathogenic agents and contributes to preventing the development of infectious and allergic processes. Some people believe that good hydration helps to moisten body tissues and preserve the skin’s elasticity, softness and colouring though this has not been researched adequately.

Temperature

The body water has an important role as a thermoregulator, regulating the overall body temperature by helping dissipate heat. If the body becomes too hot, water is lost through sweat and the evaporation of this sweat from the skin surface removes heat from the body. Sweating is the most effective way that the body prevents itself from overheating.

 

Source: europeanhydrationinstitute.org

 

Good hydration can help with:

  • Combat Fatigue – You can’t run on all four cylinders if you are dehydrated. Water is one of the most important sources of energy for your body. It helps cells complete important enzymatic activities which contribute to good sleep, restoration of bodily systems, and the production of ample energy to get you through your day.
  • Reduce High Blood Pressure – When the body is fully hydrated, the blood is approximately 92% water. This helps to keep the blood moving freely through the veins and arteries, helping to prevent high blood pressure along with other cardiovascular ailments.
  • Halt Allergies and Asthma – When the body is dehydrated, it creates more histamines – organic nitrous compounds which help to regulate our immune response. If we have too many histamines circulating, we will feel congested and have difficulty breathing, along with other allergic reactions caused by the body’s response to foreign bodies.
  • Reduce Acne, Dermatitis, Psoriasis, and Premature Aging of the Skin – With proper hydration, the skin practically glows. Without it, our skin cannot properly rid itself of toxins and so it becomes irritated, inflamed, and congested, causing a host of unsavory results ranging from itching, blackheads, redness, acne, and general blotchiness.
  • Stop High Cholesterol – When the body hasn’t had enough water, it will start to produce more cholesterol so that cells can still function properly.
  • Eliminate Digestive Disorders – Water can help eliminate and reduce the incidence of ulcers, bloating, gas, gastritis, acid reflux, and IBS. You also will experience less frequent constipation since water helps matter move more quickly through the intestinal tract. A well-hydrated body simply purges toxins and metabolic wastes better.
  • Flush Out Unwanted Bacteria from the Bladder and Kidneys – People who are well hydrated experience less frequent bladder or kidney infections since water helps to flush out any unwanted microbes that try to accumulate in these eliminative organs. These organs are especially sensitive to disease without proper hydration since they are responsible for eliminating stored toxins and bodily waste.
  • Speed Up Joint and Cartilage Repair – Most of the padding in our cartilage is made up of water, so if we don’t drink enough of it, our bones will feel stiff and our joints will take a beating. Joint repair after workouts or injuries is also expedited by proper hydration.
  • Stop Gaining Unwanted Weight – When our cells are depleted of water, they cannot create energy we need to function, and so they send a signal to the brain to ‘get more goods.’ This means you will eat more, and likely carry some extra unwanted pounds. To avoid this, simply stay hydrated and your cells will stay happy and not send ‘fat signals’ to the brain. Further, and more obviously, replacing other drinks with water will help naturally keep the weight off. Some water with lemon each morning can be especially beneficial.
  • Slow the Aging Process – Finally, all of our organs require copious amounts of water to function properly. If we stay dehydrated for long stretches, every cell, organ, and system in the body has to work harder, which means we will age faster. Drinking enough water literally keeps you young feeling, looking, and acting – for longer.

Water Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking upstairs–as well as exercise–more difficult.

Water Keeps Your Body Cool

Your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skin’s surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, however, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter.

Water Keeps Skin Supple

When a person is severely dehydrated, skin is less elastic. This is different than dry skin, which is usually the result of soap, hot water and exposure to dry air. And, no, unfortunately, drinking lots of water won’t prevent wrinkles.

Water Cleanses Toxins from Your Body

Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine. Keeping hydrated may also help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body.