Water is the source of life and staying hydrated is essential to a healthy life.
We all know the feeling after Christmas when we might have overindulged on the chocolates, or spent a little too long on the sofa. January arrives and we decide that this year is going to be our year! We are going to do loads of exercise and eat nothing but a chicken breast and plain rice.
But this year I’m here to tell you why your ‘new year new me’ should start with water and staying properly hydrated!
The human body is an incredible and complex mechanism and understanding how it works and what it needs to work is essential to help you kick start that new year health drive. Water makes up around 65% of our total body mass making it an essential ingredient to a healthy body. Every cell and organ require water and without adequate hydration our bodies cannot function correctly.
But what does water actually do? And why is it so important to kick start that new year health drive and get us looking and feeling great in no time?
Improve Mental and Physical Ability
Being properly hydrated is essential if you want to be on top of both your physical and mental game at the start of the year. We all know that to feel great and get healthy we need to start doing some exercise. Whether it’s a gentle jog, a big chest session in the gym or an intense HIIT circuit session, staying hydrated is essential to peak performance. Dehydration has been linked to reduced cardiac output which reduces the bodies VO2 max score, which is needed for maximum performance.
Alongside this we all want to feel fresh and be on top of our mental game. Dehydration can cause us to feel sluggish and slow. Recent studies have shown how dehydration of 2% body mass or more can impair cognitive functions such as memory and attention. Added to this decrease in mental ability, lower hydration levels can even affect our mood, so not only are we mentally slower but we are also felling worse about everything anyway.
If you want to stay on top of you training regime and feel sharp and quick – drink more water!
Look and Feel Great
One of the aims of a ‘New year new me’ is to drop a few of those Christmas pounds and start looking and feeling 110%. Drinking enough water is an easy cheat to achieve this. Water helps to maintain healthy looking skin as the outmost layer of skin (the epidermis) acts like a water reservoir therefore drinking enough water helps it to stay looking young and smooth. (Another top skin tip is to avoid really hot showers or baths as these dry your skin out 😮). Staying properly hydrated can help reach that goal weight by reducing the urge to snack and eat ‘bad foods’. When the body is dehydrated cells send ‘fat signals’ to the brain so sip that bottle to stay fully satiated.
Water is clearly important for physically looking good but how can it help you feel great on the inside. Water is key to the flushing out of toxins and removal excretion of unwanted nutrients from the body. Have you ever been for a full body massage and been advised to drinks lots of water afterwards? This is because muscles store toxins until the body can process them, the massage releases these toxins and the body then requires plentiful water to allow the kidneys to process and filter out these toxins. Finally water is vitally important for healthy and pain free joints. Getting back into exercise after a break can often result in stiff muscles and sore joints which makes it extra hard to motivate yourself to go that extra mile in January. Water is an essential element of synovial fluid which cushions and lubricates the joints.
Fight off Disease
Disease and illness are sometimes unavoidable, and it is clear that most are multifactorial (i.e there are lots of different causes and influences) some diseases have been linked to dehydration. Simply drinking more water could reduce your risk of developing heart disease or cancer. A recent study showed that those who drank 5 or more glasses of water a day when compared to those who drank 2 or less glasses of water a day reduced their risk of coronary heart disease by 46% in men and 59% in women. Whilst another study looking at the risk factors associated with certain cancers showed that reduced daily water intake was associated with increased risk of breast, bowel and bladder cancer.
Being properly hydrated is so important for both mental and physical performance, can help you start to look and feel the way you want, and can even reduce your risk of diseases. For any new year’s resolutions and health drives drinking more water should be top of the to do list!
As much as water has massive health benefits, it’s not the most exciting drink and sometimes forcing down another glass can be a real chore. That’s why Squash Stix or Vit Stix are the perfect alternative. Single sachets of squash or liquid vitamin they are easy to carry around with you and instantly mix with water to make a refreshing drink with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners that will keep you fully hydrated. Chuck a pack in your gym bag, put a few sachets in your cycling top or simply take them to work and have by the water cooler and you’ll be drinking more water without even realising. With the added bonus that Stix use up to 99% less plastic than bottled squash or vitamin drinks. You could kill two birds with one stone as it were.
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