We know that staying hydrated is important, but do you know how drinking water conditions your physical and mental state? Discover how your water intake affects the different functions of your body, and take control of your health through a habit as simple as hydrating yourself correctly.
Your body generates heat with whatever movement you do, no matter how small. But our core temperature is maintained thanks to hydration: this is called thermoregulation. Therefore, in times of greater heat such as exercise or hot environments, it is important to drink water to maintain this regulation.
Effects on physical activity
Dehydration reduces our physical capacity, so if we are not sufficiently hydrated it is normal to feel tired, because we can not do a good thermoregulation as we have seen. When you exercise, it is important to drink enough water to prevent resistance time, increased fatigue and difficulty breathing (2).
There are even studies that show that good hydration increases the effectiveness of free throws in basketball! (4)
Effects on cognitive functions
Simply by a mild dehydration, the mood can be altered, and cognitive functions can decrease. In particular, dehydration can make you less focused, have less short-term memory, even cause dizziness and confusion, affecting your daily activities (2). Drinking water can increase energy levels and improve brain functions, helping us to be more productive and efficient.
Effects on gastrointestinal functions
Constipation is one of the most common effects of dehydration . Although it does not mean that it is the only cause: it also influences the use of medications, inadequate fiber intake, poor diet … If you are usually constipated, drinking more water can help you, along with changes in your eating habits.
Effects on renal function
The kidneys are the organs that are responsible for filtering the blood to eliminate toxic substances and waste from our body. If they do not have enough water, they can not work well (generating urine) and therefore we will have toxins in our body.
Drinking water will then help you eliminate toxins and feel good, and prevent kidney diseases.
We’ve all had a headache at some time for being dehydrated. The most common case is the hangover! The cause is not very clear scientifically, but it is believed that it is because when the water level is significantly reduced, the body tries to conserve the remaining water, and for this it contracts the blood vessels and reduces the supply of oxygen and blood to the body. brain. All this gives a headache, so if it hurts, think if it could be due to dehydration!
So, how much water should I drink?
The amount of water we drink is determined by a number of factors: our eating habits, the environment, the weather, our cultural customs …
The health authorities (WHO) suggest that you have to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day (2); that is, about 8 or 9 glasses of water. This does not include water from other beverages or food. According to this information, you should drink water even when you are not thirsty.
There is no formula that accurately determines the amount of water we must drink daily to enjoy good health, but we recommend that you drink as much water as you need. Following your intuition and thirst, but also paying attention to other indicators such as those we have explained (heat, fatigue, sweating, headache, bad concentration …).
Surely you already knew that drinking water is a way to feel good inside and out, but now you know why and what are the consequences of not doing it. Water is life and taking care is loving yourself!
- Nissensohn, M., Sánchez-Villegas, A., Galan, P., Turrini, A., Arnault, N., Mistura, L., … Serra-Majem, L. “Beverage Consumption Habits among the European Population: Association with Total Water and Energy Intakes. ” National Center for Biotechnology Information. US National Library of Medicine. 2017 Apr; 9 (4): 383.
- Popkin, BM, D’Anci, KE, Rosenberg, IH “Water, Hydration and Health”. National Center for Biotechnology Information. US National Library of Medicine. 2010 Aug; 68 (8): 439-458.
- Gunnars, K. (2016). How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? . [online] Healthline. Available at: https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/ [Accessed 27 Oct. 2017].
- Solera-Herrera, A. (2003). Effects of dehydration and rehydration on the effectiveness of the basketball free throw. Journal of Exercise and Health Sciences, 3 (1), 35-42. Available online at :: //www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrea_Solera-Herrera/publication/242200002_EFEGOS_DE_LA_DESHIDRATACION_Y_LA_REHIDRATACION_EN_LA_EFECTIVIDAD_DEL_TIRO_LIBRE_DE_BALONCESTO/links/574320a808aea45ee84bbbf6.pdf
- normally distributed the amount of water we drink a day