Water is absolutely crucial for our health and wellbeing. Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. The water in your body helps the transport of nutrients, regulates your body temperature, maintains the body’s fluid balance and digests food! So ahead of The Water Challenge, we sat down with Freedom Wellness Nutritionist and Naturopath Shelley McKenzie, to ask her the benefits of drinking water and what all the fuss is about!
Here are 5 reasons to increase your water intake
We all know water is calorie-free!
“If we choose to drink mostly water throughout the day instead of soft drink, juices and alcohol, we will naturally consume fewer calories, and can even lower our calorie intake as much as 200 calories a day! But this is not the only reason why water aids in weight loss. Drinking a glass of water before each meal will also keep you on your weight loss journey. This is because drinking a glass of water before your meal means your appetite is reduced, so you will eat less.”
H2O is also responsible for helping you burn more calories throughout your day…. what can’t it do!
2. Promotes skin health
Turns out our hunt for the fountain of youth may have been at our local water fountain all along….
“Your skin is the largest organ in the human body and made up of many cells. Like all other cells in the body, skin cells are made up of water. If there is dehydration present, the skin may appear duller, dry or flaky with ageing effects such as wrinkles and pores present. The more hydrated you are, the more hydrated your skin will appear with a plump and elastic look.”
Brb, going to drink all the water.
3. Helps your exercise performance
Drinking water when exercising is important to replace any fluids lost in sweat. In fact, you should drink an extra litre of water for every hour of intense exercise performed. But did you know dehydration can lead to loss of performance? As water is lost from the body, there is a gradual reduction in physical and mental performance and an increase in heart rate and body temperature. So, whether you are going to catch an early morning gym class, pumping some iron or running a marathon be sure to drink up.
4. Detoxifies the body
Say bye to expensive juice cleanses and hello to your buddy H20.
“You don’t need expensive detox programs when you can simply pick up a bottle of water and drink more. Our bodies are exposed to unfamiliar toxins every day, some of which are environmental while others include coffee, soft drink, alcohol and more. In order for your body (and more particularly your kidneys) to do their job, you must be well hydrated.
Without enough water in the body, the kidneys will not have access to the fluid they need to expel and detoxify, which means your body would then hold onto these toxins.”
5. Boosts Energy
3:30-it is be gone! Shelley tells us the energy slump you feel mid-afternoon may be caused by dehydration.
“Rather than reaching for the energy drink or coffee, go for the water. Although water is calorie-free and doesn’t have energy itself, water is necessary to convert body fat and food into energy. With the body made up of 60% water, when dehydration is present all functions in your body will slow down. Leaving you reaching for anything insight to give you a boost of energy.
Finally, how much water do we actually need?
“The amount of water you need is still up for debate and varies dependant on the individual, the amount of daily exercise performed, as well as how many coffees, black tea, or alcoholic beverages are consumed. One of the best ways to check your hydration levels is through your urine colour. If your urine is a light yellow or clear in colour, you are hydrated. If your urine is bright or dark yellow in colour, it’s time to increase your daily intake of water! Don’t let thirst be your reminder to drink more water. Try to use techniques such as setting alarms on your phone every hour to drink more water, or setting small daily challenges to finish your water bottle by certain points in your day. “
Nutrition | Naturopath at Freedom Wellness
Find her at:
- Dennis EA1, Dengo AL, Comber DL, Flack KD, Savla J, Davy KP, Davy BM. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18.
- Illescas-Zarate D1, Espinosa-Montero J2, Flores M3, Barquera S4. Plain water consumption is associated with lower intake of caloric beverage: cross-sectional study in Mexican adults with low socioeconomic status. 2015 Apr.
- Popkin BM1, D'Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. 2010 Aug
- Van Walleghen EL1, Orr JS, Gentile CL, Davy BM. Pre-meal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger subjects. 2007 Jan;15(1):93-9.
- Zheng M, Allman-Farinelli M, Heitmann BL, Rangan A. Substitution of sugar-sweetened beverages with other beverage alternatives: a review of long-term health outcomes. 2015 May.