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The benefits of good hydration
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The benefits of good hydration

We often hear that “We must eat to live, not live to eat”. We all know this quote. But here is one that is even more accurate: “ You have to drink to live .” Thirst is more dangerous than hunger. Even though tons of web pages already discuss the importance of hydration, a lot has been left unsaid. The organism hides from us very well-kept secrets of the close link that exists between it and water. In this article, we take you off the beaten track, into the little-visited universe of the power of water on the human body . Be prepared to see your relationship with water change radically after reading this article.

Hydration or diet: Where to prioritize?

While it is true that diet is a central pillar of maintaining good health, sufficient and adequate hydration plays an equally important role. Apart from the classic benefits generally attributed to water, this fluid influences the body at all levels , without exception. So, should you wait until you're thirsty to hydrate?

The answer is obviously no. Unlike diets which are sometimes very restrictive and very demanding, respecting good hydration offers the body a very broad spectrum of benefits . In addition, water is cheaper and available in considerable quantities. No need to control calories or weigh portions to avoid exceeding daily limits. And there, we can already see its impact on health .

The benefits of water on body mass

Did you know that before being weighed for a fight, boxers manage to sweat profusely? The goal is to eliminate water. Yes, you understood. The human body is mostly made up of water. We can also understand from this assertion that water is a major decision-maker in this large, complex factory that is the human organism. And for this reason, a good relationship with water is essential for excellent control of body mass . But how ?

First of all, water is an important factor in satiety . Several studies show that anyone can accelerate the onset of the feeling of satiety depending on the amount of water they consume, before or during a meal. So, for example, one or two glasses of water before lunch can help you feel fuller sooner, which means you'll eat less food.

Depending on your weight goals, water can help you reduce calorie intake with each meal. This is about drinking water, not because you are thirsty, but to cause early satiety during your meals. And if you are thirsty, resist the temptation to drink fruit juice, soft drinks, etc. Prefer a few glasses of water, because water does not contain calories. Therefore, it will allow you to control your daily calorie intake to a large extent.

The benefits of water on the mental and intellectual faculties

Between the brain and the water, it is better not to put your finger. For a good level of performance , the proportion of water in the brain must be constantly maintained at 80 or 85% . By hydrating yourself properly, blood circulation to your nervous system is optimized, which improves the supply of oxygen to the brain, optimizes the functioning of neurons and nerve cells, which ultimately influences the performance of cognitive functions .

Given the astronomical amount of tasks it controls every second, your brain needs to be sufficiently and continually hydrated. Even a small amount of dehydration is enough to reduce the effectiveness of memory functions, concentration functions, self-control functions, etc. When dehydration is prolonged, it can cause the brain to shrink and disrupt the quality of reasoning, logic and reactions.

The benefits of water on mood

Most people have come to realize that mood is a vital component in the performance machine and in the quality of socio-professional relationships. It's no secret that irritability can increase simply because lunch is late. Yet few understand the importance of fluid dynamics in regulating mood . A dry throat is sometimes the reason for a day full of depression and anxiety.

Indeed, hydration influences the release of dopamine and serotonin as well as cortisol . However, depending on their proportion, these hormones play a crucial role in emotional balance. By going without drinking water for a long time, you risk causing an excess release of cortisol, which is the stress hormone.

The benefits of water on physical performance

Dehydration is sometimes the hidden cause of physical exhaustion. During your physical activities, you will benefit greatly from staying hydrated consistently . This allows you to preserve your energy and avoid lethargy. In fact, the muscles on which body movements depend are made up of almost 80% water. Hydration acts on contraction and therefore on muscle performance.

Furthermore, since physical movements also stress the joints, hydration will also have its role to play at this level, since they are covered with a liquid envelope. And we must not forget that sweating during physical exertion accelerates the rate of dehydration.

According to calculations, you can lose up to 10% of your body weight through sweat during training. This is why it is generally recommended to drink around 0.5 L of pure water before the start of any sports exercise session and to continue to hydrate intermittently throughout the workout. .

How much water for good hydration?

All calculations made, we say that an adult must drink approximately 1.5 L of pure water per day . Without rejecting the reliability of this figure, it must however be clarified that in absolute terms, the ideal quantity of water to drink daily per individual is a variable data . Various factors must be taken into account for the calculation. For example, it will be necessary to consider:

  • the level of physical activity and muscle strain;
  • the level of demand on the neurons;
  • the ambient temperature in your usual living and working environment;
  • age;
  • sex.

We can therefore maintain the value of 1.5 L of water per day as an average for adults while noting, however, that some people may exceed this limit, if they sweat a lot or put too much strain on their neurons or even if they live in a particularly hot climate.

This is why the summer season is one of the seasons when you need to hydrate the most . And if you notice signs of dehydration after drinking 1.5L of water in a day, you need to drink. These signs vary depending on the time of day and your professional activity. They can be in the form of:

  • dry mouth or tongue;
  • unpleasant breath;
  • the feeling of heat;
  • urine that is too dark or has a strong odor;
  • headache ;
  • muscle cramps ;
  • low concentration;
  • feelings of dizziness;
  • feelings of fatigue and exhaustion;
  • etc.

Effective hydration: What drinks to avoid?

To begin with, it is worth remembering that the best way to hydrate is to drink simple water, without additives . Indeed, many have adopted refreshing and thirst-quenching drinks which represent a trap, given their pleasant taste.

However, you should know that these drinks sometimes contain depressing amounts of sugar. However, it is known that sugar reduces the water absorption capacity of cells . For each sugary drink consumed, you must be sure to drink water to facilitate the elimination of sugars by the kidneys for effective hydration.

It goes without saying that true hydration should be based mainly on tap water after filtration of course . An accessory place will be given to other drinks such as milk, tea, infusions, coffee, vegetable drinks, etc., knowing that these should not be exaggerated.

Indeed, so-called diuretic drinks should not be consumed in excess . These include, for example, green tea and coffee. This type of drinks very easily stimulates urinary secretion and causes more water loss than the amount of water consumed, which is bad for the body. So know how to choose the right drinks to hydrate yourself.

And if you consume drinks that stimulate urinary secretion, remember to drink enough water to compensate. In any case, never replace water with tea, coffee or soda . You will get the opposite effect.

Additionally, for people who have trouble resisting the fizzy effect of sugary carbonated drinks, carbonated waters are a great alternative for good hydration . However, it should be noted that this type of water contains carbon dioxide and could cause bloating, gastric reflux and other digestive problems in some people.

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