Doctors are forever extolling the virtues of drinking water — six to eight glasses are recommended a day. A fairly inaccurate measure, granted, but one can safely assume it means around two litres of water a day.
This might seem like a lot but in reality it’s about half a glass for every hour you are awake (around 150ml), which isn’t going to prove too much of a challenge — particularly when you know what it’s doing for you.
Your body is over two-thirds water and it needs constant replenishment — breathing alone causes a loss of up to two to three glasses of water each day.
A lot of the time when you think you’re hungry you’re actually thirsty. Your body kicks out the same symptoms; common sense will often dictate whether you are actually hungry or not but just try it next time you start to feel peckish. You’ll find the hunger goes away very quickly if it is just a thirst.
This is great for those who struggle with weight loss, weight gain or snacking — a glass of water will often dispel hunger pangs and over time you’ll probably reduce your food intake.
Water helps keep your skin looking youthful and supple, two qualities particularly affected by sun exposure and pollution in cities and built-up areas. Water purifies your body, removing water-soluble toxins and waste that can’t be passed easily through your bowel — which also requires water to keep you regular.
A lack of H2O means your body struggles to remove toxins and if they aren’t passed out in your urine they try and sneak out in other ways — through your skin, for example, which can cause acne and eczema.
Water also transports oxygen, hormones and nutrients to areas of your body, keeping them healthy.
Sweaty pits showing through your shirt might not be the best look in summertime but they are a necessary evil. Water helps lower your body’s temperature to the right level through sweating.
It also helps with keeping your blood at the right thickness, lowering your risk of suffering a cardiovascular disorder.
Avoid kidney stones
A kidney stone is a right royal pain in the, er, kidney. Drinking the suggested two litres of water is one of the ways you can stave off kidney stones.
Water is a valuable solvent and thus prevents the build up of minerals and salts which cause the disorder; instead, the salts are diluted and passed out of the body through your urine.
A stronger immune system
Water maintains your pH balance; the correct range is about 7.35-7.45. If your PH begins to move towards being more acidic, your body can lose its ability to take in vitamins and minerals as well as leaving you vulnerable to sickness.
A pH above seven improves your body’s ability to take in oxygen. It will also boost your energy levels as well as your immune system.
No back pain
Backaches affect most of us desk-jockeys, not least because of our posture. These aches and pains can be lowered through drinking the right quantity of water. The core of your spinal discs are made of a large quantity of water and dehydration can lead to increased back pain.
Water in soft drinks
Contrary to what we’re often told, drinking soft drinks, teas and juices does count towards your water intake. Obviously your body does require some water to process these and do beware of sugar contents, particularly in cans of soft drink, but if you’re an avid tea drinker then go ahead and stick the kettle on.
Do remember though, that you can drink too much water — so stick with what the doctor ordered. Pour us a cuppa, while you’re at it.