THE NEW RULES OF HY­DRA­TION

The ben­e­fits of drink­ing enough wa­ter

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Front Page - BY MARISSA LALIBERTE AND LIND­SAY TIGAR

HOW MUCH WA­TER you need to con­sume on a daily ba­sis de­pends on sev­eral fac­tors, in­clud­ing your weight, the cli­mate where you live and how of­ten you ex­er­cise. The clear­est sign that you’re ad­e­quately hy­drated is trans­par­ent yel­low or pale urine. If yours is a darker yel­low, you prob­a­bly need to start drink­ing more. The com­mon rule of thumb that one should drink eight 250-millil­itre glasses a day is a good place to start.

If you are able to prop­erly hy­drate your­self, many pos­i­tive health re­sults should fol­low. YOU’LL HAVE MORE EN­ERGY Wa­ter helps keep up a steady flow of nu­tri­ents into your cells, which boosts your en­ergy. Ac­cord­ing to a re­view of hy­dra­tion re­search from the Univer­sity of North Carolina and Tufts Univer­sity, when you’re de­hy­drated, this process is ham­pered—cell mem­branes

be­come less per­me­able, af­fect­ing your phys­i­cal and men­tal per­for­mance and mak­ing you feel slug­gish.

YOU’LL FEEL STRONG WHEN

YOU WORK OUT

Wa­ter helps your mus­cles main­tain the right bal­ance of elec­trolytes—like sodium, potas­sium and mag­ne­sium— to func­tion prop­erly. With­out wa­ter, you’re more prone to cramp­ing, and re­search sug­gests that even low lev­els of de­hy­dra­tion im­pair phys­i­cal per­for­mance when ex­er­cis­ing.

YOU MIGHT OVEREAT LESS OF­TEN A 2016 study from the Univer­sity of Illi­nois in­volv­ing more than 18,000 adults found that when peo­ple in­creased their daily wa­ter in­take by 250 to 750 millil­itres (on top of the litre they drank on av­er­age), they con­sumed as many as 205 fewer calo­ries a day.

YOUR MEM­ORY MAY IM­PROVE

Our brains are hugely de­pen­dent on fluid—synapses and neu­rons need liq­uid to fire prop­erly. Ac­cord­ing to a 2003 re­view pub­lished in the jour­nal Nu­tri­ents, stud­ies have con­sis­tently found that mem­ory and at­ten­tion im­prove in chil­dren after they take a drink of wa­ter. The re­search isn’t as de­fin­i­tive yet for adults, but it can’t hurt to as­sume it’ll help us, too.

YOU’LL BET­TER COM­BAT

COLD SYMP­TOMS

There’s a rea­son your doc­tor tells you to drink more when you’re get­ting sick. As your body launches its at­tack against germs, your cells need to be prop­erly hy­drated to main­tain that ef­fort. Drink­ing wa­ter also helps loosen mu­cus, which keeps your nose and throat moist.

YOU’LL KEEP THINGS REG­U­LAR “Wa­ter in­ter­acts with di­etary fi­bre in the di­ges­tive tract to bulk stools,” says Dr. Jor­dan J. Kar­litz, pro­fes­sor of clin­i­cal medicine at the Tu­lane Can­cer Cen­ter in Louisiana. So by stay­ing hy­drated, you can re­duce the risk of con­sti­pa­tion and keep things mov­ing along.

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