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Personify Fitness

Hell Yes, H2O

There is one very simple step that can make a powerful difference to your health, concentration and moods – that’s drinking more water, says The Life Coach Ben Short.

I’d like to make a bet with readers that by the time you reach the end of this article you will be thirsty for a glass of water.

Drinking just an extra 500ml a day – that’s the equivalent to a small water bottle – can make a huge difference to how you feel physically, emotionally and mentally.

There is not enough space in this article to do justice to the positive impact water can have on all parts of the body, but I’ll have a go…

  • Importantly, it improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and ensuring all the major organs have plenty of oxygenated blood. One of the signs of dehydration is fatigue as the body’s organs work harder to function properly. So, drinking enough water can prevent tiredness and even boost metabolism and energy levels.
  • Finding it difficult to focus on work in the afternoon? Perhaps you are getting irritable on the school run? Sipping water throughout the day can improve concentration and lift moods.
  • If you suffer with constipation, try upping the amount of water you drink as it will aid digestion and help dissolve soluble fibre.
  • Dehydration can trigger headaches, so next time reach for the tap or a bottle of water before resorting to pain relief.
  • Water can help flush out toxins such as salts and minerals from the kidneys and so reducing your risk of kidney stones.
  • It helps to lubricate the joints. So, if you are planning to spend several hours in the garden, sip water while you work. It could reduce your chances of back or knee pain later that evening.
  • And here is great news – water aids weight loss. Dehydration can make you feel hungry and crave certain foods. Grab a large glass of water and many of those cravings are sure to subside.

How much water to drink?

Don’t be put off by health messages which say you should drink at least two and a half litres a day. The amount you need to drink to stay healthy will depend on lots of things, such as your age, the temperature and your activity levels. If you rarely drink water, make a start by drinking a 500ml glass a day and slowly increase that amount over time. Here are some tips to help:

  • Always carry a 500ml water bottle with you and aim to gradually increase how many times you refill it, aiming for around five times a day.
  • If you suffer with poor digestion, drink water at room temperature. On a hot sunny day, it’s very tempting to drink a glass of water laden with ice, but too cold (or too hot) can unsettle the stomach.
  • For older people who have bladder issues, sip small mouthfuls of water throughout the day rather than drinking a large glass in one go.
  • Always drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and continue throughout the day, but reduce the amount around two hours before bedtime.
  • When the weather is hot, increase the amount of water you drink. My tip is, for every 10 degrees increase in temperature, add an extra 500ml of water. So, if in the spring you were drinking around two litres a day, aim for 2.5 litres now – and more if you are flying off to hotter countries for the summer holidays.
  • Getting children to drink plenty of water can be hard, but be a good role model. Try buying them their own water bottle decorated with Disney characters. If they still refuse water, try adding small amounts of sugar-free squash. If you are breastfeeding your baby, you don’t need to give water as well as breast milk. If you’re bottle feeding, you can give cooled boiled water throughout the day as well as the usual milk feeds.

Most common concern with increasing water intake?

Needing to go to the bathroom more regularly. This may be the case at first but the bladder soon adapts to the demand. The key to hydrate is sipping frequently and making water convenient during your day. Try this technique instead of gulping it down and enjoy the benefits listed above.

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Twitter
LinkedIn
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Reddit
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Pocket
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Email
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