Drink Up! How Water Affects our Health

Water. We need it. We love it and we have recommendations for how much of it we should be drinking on a daily basis. The current recommendation is six to eight cups of water per day but many of us aren’t hitting that target. Sometimes it can be hard to grab that glass and drink water but it is so vital for a lot of the things we count on every day.

These recommendations are made because of just how important water is for many of our day to day functions as well as our long term health.

Relying on our body to tell us when we’re thirsty only works some of the time and as we get older, it becomes less reliable. As we age, our body becomes less sensitive at feeling thirst. So we don’t drink water. Even though we probably should, our body isn’t giving us that signal that we’re thirsty. What this creates is older adults who are dehydrated. One estimate put that number at 60% of adults over 65 are at least mildly dehydrated. 60%!drink water, hydration, dehydrated

Our body is made up of almost 80% water so it is no surprise that it is hugely important to our health. But more and more studies are coming out that demonstrate just HOW important it is to our short-term and long-term health that we drink water.

Here are 6 reasons why you should go and grab that glass of water right now!

1. Water makes our skin look and feel better. Properly hydrated skin gives it a glow. Skin companies have known for years that hydrated skin is healthy skin.

2. People who are dehydrated do worse in hospital. When persons are admitted to the hospital, the level of dehydration links to their outcomes. The more dehydrated a person is, the more likely they are to need longer stays in hospital.

3. It makes us feel less tired. I know for me that sometimes when I think I need to grab a coffee cup what I really need to grab is a water bottle. Being dehydrated can make us feel drained (pun intended!) and so grabbing a glass of water can give us the energy boost that we need.

4. It makes our kidneys work. Our kidneys are one of our filtration organs. It helps to filter out the blood of waste and other products that our bad for us. We need them working well and water is an important part to their function.

5. We need water to swallow food. Ever tried to eat something with cotton mouth? I rest my case. Digestion starts by relying on water to begin breaking up food before it gets to the stomach. When persons have difficulty swallowing, they add water and break up the food more to help the process along.

6. It helps our brains! Even 2% decrease in water in our bodies can lead to issues with mental performance. It leads to issues with remembering items and when persons did memory tests, they performed significantly worse when they were dehydrated.

So reach for that glass of water and recognize that even if you don’t feel super thirsty, you probably need it anyway. For people who need to go to the bathroom all the time at night, drinking most of your water in the morning might be the better option!
We often put a lot of focus on the foods that we eat, we need to pay attention to the water too!

Want to learn more about other aspects of health? How about our Physiotherapy FAQ videos on what it means to eat healthy with good nutrition? Check it out here!

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Christina Prevett

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