What Happens to Your Body When You Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day
As human beings, our bodies are made up of between fifty to seventy-five per cent water, so it makes sense that replenishing those levels daily is vital to our overall health and wellbeing. A crucial nutrient in blood, bones and lean muscle, water can help us to feel more alert, give us much needed energy, and improve our mood. In terms of daily habits, sipping at least two litres (roughly eight glasses) of water each day is the easiest and most effective healthy ritual you can adopt, and here are all the ways your body (and brain) benefits from H20.
If you find yourself in need of a mental boost, reach for your water bottle before you down another coffee. The brain is made up of about three-quarters water, so drinking adequate amounts throughout the day helps with thinking, focus and concentration. Research by the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology at the University of Barcelona shows that it doesn't take much for you to start feeling the consequences of dehydration—even at just two per cent dehydration your brain is affected and it becomes difficult to remember instructions and information and perform psychomotor tasks. Keep a carafe or bottle on your desk throughout the day to remind you to fill up.
There's a reason your GP encourages you to "sweat it out" when you've got a virus. Your consumption of water actually helps your body to flush out waste through sweat and urine. Your body is a pretty clever structure and is able to naturally detoxify itself by using the kidneys, lungs and liver, but a less than ideal diet and dehydration can restrict those processes. Filling up on water will help your body easily do its thing and keep you nice and healthy.
The largest external organ in your body is your skin. It's a strange thought, but research by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care points out that it can make up between three and ten kilos of our entire body weight. Our skin really goes to work for us, protecting us from germs, moisture and the sun's harmful rays, so give back to your skin by filling your body with plenty of water throughout the day and you'll be treated to soft, wrinkle-free skin in return.
When it comes to the number of times you're visiting the bathroom each day, that's information you probably don't need to share with the rest of the office. However, if you're finding that things aren't very consistent, or you're feeling constipated, chugging water more frequently could be the solution. The National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, Japan backs up this information, recommending an increased fluid intake as a treatment for digestive issues.
Dehydration headaches can bring your day to a grinding halt—the last thing you need when you've got a list of things to get through by the end of the day. It turns out that when you're dehydrated your brain can temporarily shrink, which causes it to pull away from the skull and can lead to pain. If you find yourself suffering from headaches during the day, it could mean you need to fill up more regularly.
Your body and brain work in unison to keep you moving and performing at your best at all times. When your insides are getting the support and nutrients they need to prosper, you're going to feel positive effects when it comes to your mental wellbeing as well. In a study of female college students by the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, greater water consumption over a week was directly linked to a more positive mood amongst the group.
Sweat is the body's natural cooling system, which is necessary to regulate temperatures and prevent our bodies from overheating. In order for your body to do its job properly, it needs to have water coming in to replace the liquid that's lost naturally from perspiration. It's even more important to remember to hydrate before, during and after exercise to avoid possible fatigue and other side effects of dehydration.
Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.