The sweaty and sweltering days of summer have passed, and everyone is settling back down at work. With all the rushing around, the last thing on your mind is staying hydrated. Whether you find it boring and tasteless or prefer the energy boost from a caffeinated drink, the bottom line is that water is essential to maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. Regularly drinking water can improve cognitive function and mood, help you lose weight and prevent disease. Are you running to the taps yet?
Water: Why is it essential?
Water is vital to our survival, it is everywhere and used for everything. The body of an average adult male comprises of about 60% water. It is important for maintaining healthy organs and transports material for nutrients and waste throughout the body. Water also helps us maintain good blood circulation and volume, healthy kidney function and regulate our body temperature.
How much water do I need to drink and what are the alternatives?
There’s so much information and case studies about water that there really isn’t a right or a wrong answer. Apart from, water is good for you and you need it to survive. To add to the confusion, your needs will also depend on several factors including your climate, activity level, gender and age. However, as a general guideline for a healthy lifestyle ‘The Eatwell Guide’, published by the NHS, suggests to “Drink plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6 to 8 cups or glasses a day”. For women, you should aim for 2-3 litres of water a day and men, you should aim to consume 3-4 litres of water a day…that’s a lot of trips to the toilet I’m afraid! But you’ll feel better for it.
Some people dislike the taste of water and find they need added flavours when drinking it in vast volumes. Here are some alternatives you can try:
- Give sparkling water a go as a substitute for sugary soft drinks
- Add a slice of lemon or lime to create a zingy and refreshing drink
- Use a sugar free cordial to create a powerful flavour
- Eat fruits such as watermelon – it is super high in water
Shower in the benefits of hydration
There is a plethora of benefits associated with healthy hydration habits, some of these include:
- Promoting healthy skin, reducing acne and premature ageing
The skin is the bodies largest organ and on average it is comprised of about 64% water. If you are dehydrated your skin suffers; it becomes dry and clogged because it cannot rid itself of toxins and therefore, becomes irritated easily.
- Helping you to maintain a healthy weight
Staying hydrated can help your weight loss efforts by acting as an appetite suppressant and preventing you from overeating. Replacing calorie packed drinks with water (which has 0 calories!) can also help with keeping to any diet plans. It also aids your digestive systems, which means that it will work better and faster, even boosting your metabolism, so you can burn more calories quicker.
- Protecting yourself against diseases
Staying hydrated reduces your chances of getting kidney stones and bladder infections because it helps to ‘flush out’ unwanted microbes from the organs.
- Stop those pesky headaches
When you are hydrated, your blood can move through the veins and arteries without any difficulty which lowers high blood pressure and results in fewer headaches. This helps improve your mood and productivity as well as your general wellbeing.
- Improve your cognitive function
Being hydrated boosts your brain power! Dehydration can impair short and long-term memory loss as well as your ability to perform mental arithmetic.
How do I know if I am dehydrated?
If left untreated dehydration can develop into a serious problem for your health and wellbeing. We are constantly losing water through bodily processes which means it is very important to drink regularly to reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated.
Some symptoms of dehydration include:
- Feeling thirsty; if you feel parched that means you are already dehydrated
- Dry mouth and lips with impaired vision
- Impaired mental function and fatigue
- Infrequently going to the bathroom and having dark yellow urine
Many employers are making it their priority to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace. This can be seen in the way modern offices are designed and the increase in health consciousness in professionals.
Water is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping productive in the workplace. It is inexpensive, calorie free and great for you. So, what are you waiting for? Crack out that water bottle!