The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Hydration

We’ve all been told to drink more water and to stay hydrated (especially when we’re running and exercising) but what actually are the health benefits of drinking water? Water is highly important for all our bodily functions and organs. Carry on reading to find out water health benefits and the effects of dehydration on the brain.

What does water do in our bodies?

So why do we need water? Well, water helps your brain cells communicate with each other, which is important when you go about your day. Water also clears out toxins and waste that impair brain function. Not to mention, it also carries nutrients to your brain to keep your brain healthy. Of course, we need a healthy brain and body if we want to keep exercising and running to the best of our ability. All of these functions can fall apart if your fluid levels drop, and we don’t want that!

How does water help our brains?

There are many health benefits of drinking water, especially on our brains. Not only for overall brain health, but water also helps our brains function in everyday life. Staying hydrated has been linked to:

  • Better concentration and enhanced short-term memory
  • Higher test scores in an educational context
  • Improved focus and decreased mental fatigue – this is especially important when running! Building mental resilience is highly beneficial
  • Stronger cognitive functioning across the board, including more alertness, less confusion, and even improved learning. Again, super important for resilience, so you can reach your goals
  • Faster decision making and improved performance on cognitive tests.

These effects feel great and can improve our quality of life by adding just one more step to your daily routine!

What are the Effects of Dehydration on the Brain?

The effects of dehydration on the brain can be really negative. Of course, dehydration can affect any part of your body but with your brain, even a small amount – as little as 1%—can affect your cognitive function. Keeping mentally sharp, as we know, is imperative to running. According to Your Heights (2021), your brain functions at a lower level when you don’t drink enough throughout the day. This can then affect your mental resilience. Here are a few symptoms you may experience when you are not as hydrated as you should be:

  • Memory loss
  • Poor focus and Attention
  • Slow processing of information
  • Irritability
  • Headaches 

It’s always important to prioritise hydration to avoid any of these effects on your brain and body.

How do I stay hydrated?

Whether it’s natural mineral water or spring water, we should aim for 2-3 litres of water a day, on average. For those who like an alcoholic drink or caffeinated beverages, it’s suggested that having an extra serving of water can help you reach your water intake goals. As much as these drinks are enjoyable, they’re also (unfortunately) dehydrating.

However, it’s also suggested that your water intake and specific needs vary based on your physical activity, your lifestyle habits and more. For instance, athletes who strenuously work out will require far more water on a daily basis than someone who lives a more sedentary lifestyle. For runners, think about how much you sweat or if you live in a hot country and adjust your water intake accordingly.

4 Ways to Support Your Daily Hydration

In this digital age, we have the benefit of technology to help with your water intake. Apps on your phones are a great way to remind you to drink water. You can turn your notifications on and take a sip each time you hear that little buzz. Here are some apps that Buxton® suggests to help you drink water, so you can reap the health benefits of drinking water -

If you need that little extra push to get your water health benefits, this can be a great tool for you to use!

With resilience, we know that you can experience the health benefits of drinking water. This can mean also finding out how to successfully stay hydrated on your commute or how hydrating can help you whilst exercising (we highly suggest this for runners!). Read on and Buxton® are here to help!


Links for reference

https://www.yourheights.com/blog/health/what-does-water-do-for-the-brain

https://neurogrow.com/water-your-brain/

 

 

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