Our bodies are made up mostly of water, on average around 60%. In order to keep those levels constant, we need to consume enough water to replace what is lost through normal bodily functions. Water helps to remove waste from the body, it carries nutrients to cells and it aids digestion. If you live in a warmer climate, or exercise regularly you may need to drink more in order to stay hydrated.
There are many benefits to drinking plenty of water in normal everyday life which you may not have realised. Here are some:
Drinking water before a meal can part fill your stomach making you feel fuller while you eat. You can still enjoy your meal, but might not need to eat so much in order to feel satisfied. Leaving an empty plate isn’t compulsory! Stop eating when you feel full up. Over time you’ll more than likely lose a few pounds which is great news for any weight watchers. It goes to show that when we think we’re hungry, our brains can confuse the messages from our stomachs. Sometimes we just need a drink!
Your Oral Health
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help keep your mouth healthy and your teeth strong. It’s not always convenient to brush your teeth after every meal, but rinsing your mouth shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Drinking some water after food will help remove some of the plaque building acids and bacteria that damage the surface of the teeth. Some waters contain fluoride which helps to protect tooth enamel, but even if your choice of water is fluoride free, flushing your mouth through will help, as small food particles will be washed away, helping keep your gums healthy, and your breath fresher too.
Drinking water will help keep you regular! It helps lubricate the colon, by binding with soluble fibre to keep your bowels moving, whilst keeping intestinal mucous soft thus protecting your digestive tract. If you don’t drink enough water your bowel movements will be less frequent, and you could have a hard time passing stools.
The Flip Side
There are hardly any adverse effects from drinking water, but if you drink too much there can be one or two that are detrimental or even harmful to our bodies. Although excessive intake of water is unlikely in the average healthy adult, some athletes who consume large amounts could be at risk, particularly in the endurance sports arena. Too much water can dilute the blood which will result in low sodium levels, weakened muscles and even slow heart rhythm, and can cause loss of water soluble nutrients like vitamin B and C. These vitamins can be flushed out of the body before they have time to adequately absorb.