Staying hydrated is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt. Here are the ways your body and brain improve when you get enough water.
You’ll have more energy
The cells throughout your body need water to function. “Cells contain water and are surrounded by water,” says Ronald Navarro, MD, orthopaedic and sports medicine surgeon. “In dehydration, cell membranes become less permeable, hampering the flow of hormones and nutrients into the cell and preventing waste products that cause cell damage from flowing out.” When that’s happening, your energy is sapped and fatigue can take over, according to a review of hydration research published in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
How much water do you need to boost energy? Depending on who you ask, the exact amount varies. Dr Navarro points to the most agreed-upon recommendation of six to eight 250ml glasses of water daily. He points out that this can vary, though. “Some adults may need more or less, depending on their overall health, including if they have certain illnesses, take specific medications and more,” he explains. “It also depends on how much they exercise and the level of intensity, and how hot and dry the weather is.” If you’re interested to know how much water your body is hankering for, talk to your primary care doctor. But also keep in mind that too much fluid can lead to hyponatremia, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Your memory may improve
Your brain is hugely dependent on fluid to work properly – all those synapses and neurons need liquid to fire properly. According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, dehydration affects your cognitive function and mood, and being severely dehydrated can affect your short-term memory. And yet, as many as 80 percent of Australians suffer from chronic dehydration. And that number worsens in summer: “We see the rate of dehydration increase in the summer and autumn, when temperatures are higher and perspiration is more pronounced,” he says.
If you’re concerned you’re among the dehydrated masses, here are the most common signs of dehydration.