No matter who you are or what your circumstances are, there’s always something you can do to improve your overall general health. This can help you if you’re coping with a chronic illness or mental health problem, or even if you’re relatively healthy but want to give yourself more energy through the day.
Looking after yourself now will also bode well for the future, you will age more comfortably and retain good health for longer.
There are a lot of ways that you can live a healthier lifestyle, so we’re just going to focus on one aspect of maintaining good general health. How can keeping hydrated benefit you? We explore the link between hydration and health.
How Much Should You Drink?
When you eat and drink, you’re fueling your body and replenishing what it loses throughout the day. When it comes to food, this replenishment mostly refers to energy through calories and nutrients that your body needs like protein, fats, salts, and vitamins.
Your body is also made up of around 70% of water, which will also need replenishing to keep you healthy.
The amount you should drink depends largely on you. Larger people need to drink more water, just as they need to eat more calories to maintain their weight. The same applies to people who are more active or who live in a hot area because they will lose more water through sweat.
As a general rule, it’s recommended that you drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day. If you’re thirsty, drink water. If your urine is dark, it’s a clear sign that you need to drink more water.
It’s not easy to accidentally overhydrate, although it is possible and can be dangerous. People sometimes drink too much when they’re exercising and are overcompensating for the possibility of being dehydrated.
What Should You Drink?
The best hydrator is probably water. Depending on where you live, tap water might be good enough, although some people find that premium alkaline water offers health benefits and can be more hydrating.
Caffeinated and sugary drinks will hydrate you, but a lot of sugar isn’t good for you and caffeine (and alcohol) can have a diuretic effect.
You can also hydrate yourself through food. Fruits and vegetables tend to contain a lot of water, as do some prepared foods like soup.
The Health Benefits Of Hydration
As well as keeping your body generally ticking over and replenishing lost liquid, good hydration has some very specific health benefits.
If you are dehydrated, you’re more likely to notice some of the short-term benefits of drinking water. You will have less energy and be prone to headaches. Some people also have a dry mouth and throat.
But good hydration not only prevents these symptoms, but also leads to better-looking skin and hair. Water is everywhere in your body, including your blood and natural filtration system, so water is a necessary part of your natural detox process. Your kidneys will also thank you, and your blood pressure will be better regulated.