THE HEALTH BENEFITS

Shelley McKenzie/ Freedom Wellness

The benefits of drinking water for a month don’t stop at the warm and fuzzy feeling you get knowing that you are helping save lives.

Our Water Challenge nutritionist Shelley McKenzie helps us understand more about why drinking water is so good for you below.

Most Australia’s are lucky enough to have access to clean water whenever it is wanted or needed. Yet we often take it for guaranteed or turn a blind eye and quench our thirst with other beverages such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, cordial, juice or alcohol. Some of which can counteract the benefits of water and dehydrate us even further.

H2O is absolutely crucial for one’s health and wellbeing. Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. Those fluids in your body aid in essential processors such as transporting nutrients, regulating body temperature, maintaining the body’s fluid balance, digesting food and creating of saliva. Yet 80% of Australian adults suffer from chronic dehydration.

Let’s have a look at 5 reasons you may not have known about the importance of drinking water.

Weight loss:

We all know water is a calorie free option. And those who drink mostly water in their day as opposed to other beverage such as soft drink, juices and alcohol will have a lower calorie intake by almost 200 calories on average per day. But this is not the only reason why water aids in weight loss. Drinking a glass of water before each meal can also aid in weight loss. This is due to a reduction in appetite which leads to a decrease in calorie intake. H2O is also responsible for helping you burn more calories throughout your day.

Promotes skin health:

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.

Enhances exercise performance:

 Drinking water throughout exercise 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.

Detoxifies the body:

Who needs expensive detox programs when we 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.

Energy booster:

That energy slump you feel mid-morning or afternoon may be the cause of 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. And as I mentioned early your body is made up of 60% water. So, when dehydration is present all functions in your body will slow down. Leaving you reaching for anything in sight to give you a boost of energy. 

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 can ensure 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. 

 

Enjoy the water challenge and remember to stay hydrated!

 

By Shelley McKenzie.

Nutrition | Naturopath at Freedom Wellness

Find her at:

www.freedomwellness.com.au

Instragram: @freedomwellness

Facebook: freedomwellness15

References:

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  • Illescas-Zarate D1Espinosa-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.