A modern lifestyle often means you forget about everything except work. Throughout the day, you habitually reach for too much coffee or even for an energy drink. Still, this approach will ultimately not please your cardiovascular system. Not all of us know that the easiest way to stay more energetic on a hard day at work is to drink more water.
The average percentage of liquid in our bodies reaches up to 70%, making water the vital element for us to survive and stay healthy. And suppose you want to reach new career heights continually. In that case, you need to be energized, productive, and focused during the workday, which is impossible if you're dehydrated. Dive in to discover the impact of drinking water on our performance.
How much water do you need to consume daily?
You've definitely heard about the rule to take eight glasses of water every day to avoid dehydration. The National Academy of Sciences researchers found that a total water intake is 3.7 L or 125oz for an average young man and 2.7 L or 68oz for a woman.
But that's not limited to just drinking water - National Diet and Nutrition Survey have shown our body gets 25-35% of the necessary liquid with food as well. So if you want to stick to a recommended fluid intake, you don't need to overdrink — eat more fruits and vegetables like oranges, cucumbers, or strawberries.
But if you find it hard to drink much water during the day, it's okay! Scientists from Monash University, in their research, have shown that our brain turns on its defending mechanisms when we're drinking more than needed or when we're not thirsty. That, in turn, challenges the rule of "eight glasses" and means that we all have different daily fluid intake norms. The study suggests we stick to our body signals and only drink when we're thirsty.
Now let's take a peek at the positive effects of taking enough liquids during the day for your stamina and wellness.
Benefits of drinking water
As the dominating element in our bodies, water performs many tasks crucial for our welfare. They include the metabolism process, thermoregulation, electrolyte balance maintenance, and other functions. Getting a sufficient amount of water will bring you such health and stamina benefits:
Increase your cognitive performance
As a professional who wants to grow a successful career, you'd surely want to have maximum concentration, good memory, and extensive brain productivity. And without drinking enough water, you wouldn't be able to achieve high results.
The research made by Chinese scientists has shown that dehydration influences our cognitive performance, impairing short-term memory, reaction speed, and vigilance. So if you want to stay super-productive, don't forget to drink during the day.
Boost your energy and stamina levels
For sure, you've noticed that drinking iced water on a hot day or during workouts provides an instant burst of energy. That works exactly as we feel it - water is a great energy booster. It replaces fluids you lose during activities or sweating and delivers the oxygen throughout the body so that you won't feel exhaustion during even the most challenging day.
The Gatorade Sports Science Institute's study shows that even 2% dehydration can significantly lower your energy level and cause heart strain. That proves the water's role in energizing our bodies and boosting our stamina.
Support your digestion
Drinking water is one way to help your digestive system function correctly. It also helps to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps the functions in your body, such as absorption of nutrients and waste disposals, and somewhere in the process of digestion helps regulate microscopic food particles. Enough water in your diet ensures an optimal level of hydration which supports the whole gastrointestinal tract including your digestive tracts, digestive enzymes, pancreas, and endocrine glands.
When it comes to digesting liquid food such as juices, tea or coffee drinks, water would help process them more efficiently in your body by increasing your vital fluids and encouraging the assimilation of their benefits with other liquid types such as those containing carbs or protein (complex molecules).
Some studies show that liquids stay in the digestive system longer than solids. This allows your stomach to break down fewer calories and nutrients from liquid meals than from eating solids, relieving strain on the body and allowing it to relax. Liquids also need less time for digestion, as they're broken down over fewer hours.
Lose weight effectively
Nearly every diet suggests drinking more water to lose weight. But is there a connection between slimming and liquid intake? Children's Hospital Oakland research says that drinking water leads to greater fat oxidation because plain water doesn't promote insulin production.
Another study made by a Virginia Tech researcher claims to drink two cups of water before every meal can help us lose extra weight during the diet. Consuming water before the meal makes us less hungry, then we eat less, which helps us with weight control.
Improve your health quality
Water plays a substantial role in maintaining our health quality as well. It regulates our bodies' temperature, supports the digestive system, detoxifies us, and supports our blood pressure, preventing heartburn. No other supplement or a superfood can offer you such a revitalizing effect — and that's just simple water!
Swallowing water throughout the day will help you prevent some serious diseases. The US National Kidney Foundation declares that water is one of the best heal-all to avoid kidney stones. The water intake also helps us fight headaches and migraines, which is crucial during a hard-working week. And suppose your work routine relates to some high activity. In that case, drinking water is a must-have for you since it lubricates joints and relieves swelling.
As you can see, water is an indispensable source of energy and overall wellness. That's why it's so essential to drink your daily norm. But what if you're in a constant rush and habitually forget about drinking liquids? Such a lifestyle may be quite dangerous for you, as it leads to dehydration.
Why is dehydration dangerous for our health?
Our body loses almost 2,5 L or 68oz of water daily through sweat, urine, and breathing. That means we should maintain our fluid balance by drinking the same amount of water. And what if you fail to drink according to your daily norm? You may end up dehydrating your body, so it can't function normally.
However, various causes may lead to dehydration aside from drinking not enough water:
- problems with the digestive system
- over sweating
- heavy drinking.
But how do you know your body lacks water? There are a few symptoms of dehydration you can quickly notice, like intense thirst or dark-colored urine. Other signals like dizziness, fatigue, or irritation are typical for our working routine days, so we ignore them. Though, ignoring dehydration can cause severe damage to your body.
One of the most dangerous disorders caused by the lack of liquids in your body is hypovolemic shock. Without the required amount of water, our blood volume decreases, and blood pressure leads to a low oxygen level. In turn, that causes such symptoms as increased sweating, anxiety, and even loss of consciousness.
Less dangerous but still painful disorders are constant headaches, kidney problems, constipation, and migraines. The cognitive side dehydration may seriously affect your mood, making you more irritable, causing fatigue, deteriorating short-memory, perception, and concentration. All of the above disorders will prevent you from being productive and focused during work, so that's where drinking water may save you.
Now that we're done with the most frightening part let's get to the good things and learn what drinks except for water replenish your fluid balance and boost the energy.
What to drink aside from water to stay hydrated and energized?
Despite its health-promoting qualities, plain water may seem like a dull and tasteless drink. But keep calm. There's still plenty of fish in the sea, or to be precise, plenty of healthy beverages. And we're going to take a closer look at them.
You may be surprised, but milk is even more hydrating than water. Scotland's St. Andrew's University research has shown milk contains positive potassium levels, being more effective in maintaining our fluid balance. Besides, it's vigorous for our bones and muscles due to the high protein and calcium content. Whole milk is also a great source of energy due to its saturated fat.
Those who drink coffee instead of water have no reasons to worry — the University of Birmingham study has refuted the myth that drinking coffee leads to dehydration. Moreover, it proved coffee has the same hydration effect as water if taken within normal limits. So your morning coffee counts as a first step to completing the daily "eight glass" rule, and you can enjoy its energizing effect with a light heart.
Due to its high caffeine content, tea also has a dehydration effect. However, scientists from the UK have dispelled this myth as well. Their survey shows that tea hydrates our bodies the same way water does. Besides, according to the European Society of Cardiology research, green tea lovers live longer and stay more energized during the day because of the drink's caffeine and antioxidants content.
Healthier than soda, tastier than plain water — sparkling water is an excellent option for rehydration. Some of these kinds of drinks contain added sugars and artificial flavors, so try to pick zero sugar and non-flavored ones. Sparkling water may improve your digestion and positively impact your bones as it's a source of calcium.
Matcha is considered a healthy beverage as it contains high amounts of antioxidants, collagen, and beta-carotene. The extracts from matcha are calorie-free which equals zero calories in terms of the value of your body weight. It also contains L-Theanine, an amino acid found in other health drinks like green tea or oolong tea.
Research findings have shown that matcha tea and latte help maintain the fluid balance in the body and support nutrient digestion. Nowadays, many active people use matcha to maintain the fluid balance in their system and drink it daily after workouts, during the day when they have intense mental work tasks, or first thing in the morning.
Sticking to these drinks will help you stay hydrated and invigorated. But here are also some drinks you better avoid in your diet no matter what. They include alcohol that's proven to dehydrate us, beverages that only worsen our dehydration, or energy drinks that cause anxiety, cardiovascular disorders, and insomnia.
How to drink enough water when you're always busy?
If you want to maintain your fluid balance and boost energy even during the busiest working days, take a glimpse at tips on how to hydrate your body without a hitch:
- Drink before taking meals
- Carry a bottle of water with you
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Set up a reminder to drink on your smartphone
- Add some fruits to your water bottle to drink more
- Drink sugar-free coffee and tea.
As you see, staying hydrated equals being productive, energized, and healthy. So drinking enough water is as crucial as eating healthy food or observing personal hygiene. Although the daily norm is different for each of us, we need to replenish our fluid balance.
If you regularly forget to drink fluids, it can cause dehydration, severe health problems, and low energy levels. But with the knowledge you have now and the tips on staying hydrated, drinking water will indeed become your habit. Stay tuned for more insights on health and productivity!
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- Hydration and Physical Performance (2007)
- Drinking Water and Weight Management (2010)
- Drinking Water Before Meals Helps Dieting, Says Study (2010)
- 6 Easy Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones (2020)
- Increasing the Daily Water Intake for theProphylactic Treatment of Headache: a Pilot Trial (2005)
- Want Healthy Joints? Hydrate! (2016)
- Dehydration (2019)
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- Is Tea a Healthy Source of Hydration? (2015)
- Tea Drinkers Live Longer (2020)
- Is Sparkling Water Healthy? (2020)
- Rehydration With Soft Drink-Like Beverages Exacerbates Dehydration and Worsens Dehydration-Associated Renal Injury (2016)
- Hangovers (2017)
- Energy Drinks (2018)
- Do You Really Need Eight Glasses a Day? (2016)