Today marks the start of Nutrition and Hydration Week, and while we mostly all know about the health benefits of drinking enough water, many of us are still falling short when it comes to meeting our daily H2O requirements.
So, in case you needed any extra motivation to get your 'eight-a-day' (glasses that is), here are five reasons to drink more water this week (and beyond!):
Boost your brain power
85% of our brain is water – so being dehydrated literally shrinks our brains! Even 2% is enough to reduce your attention, concentration, coordination and memory skills – not forgetting those dehydration headaches.
Perk yourself up
In a food and mood survey of 200 women, backed by mental health charity MIND, 80% reported that drinking more water helped them mentally and emotionally. Not surprising, when you consider how much dehydration stresses the brain. What’s more, 2% dehydration can also affect physical performance – making water a good all round pick-me-up.
Save on calories
Studies suggest women who drink more water are likely to weigh less. This makes sense given that simply swapping sugary drinks for water (yippee, calorie free!) could save you more than 200 calories per day. And with some specialist coffees containing a whopping 500 calories, drinking water instead could save another quarter of your recommended daily calorie intake.
Hunger and thirst are easily confused - another reason why drinking more water can help with weight loss. What’s more, studies show that filling up with water before or with meals can reduce the amount of calories consumed.
Look more youthful
Did you know that one third of your skin is made up of water? So one of the best beauty aids around is staying hydrated. It keeps your skin cells plump and looking brighter, and can help banish blemishes and improve skin tone and clarity. Plus water is a good deal cheaper than all those expensive anti-ageing creams many of us use every day.
How much is enough?
But how can you ensure you’re drinking enough? A rough daily guide is 8 glasses for women and 10 for men. But this depends on a number of things, not least how warm it is and how active you are.
A sensible guide is to make water your main drink of choice and to drink little and often. If your pee is a pale straw colour- as opposed to dark or clear - you know that you’re getting it right!