Tuesday 19 August 2014

Drinking more water essential to improved mood, increased energy

by: Antonia

By the time a person feels thirsty, dehydration has already kicked in. This not only means that the urge to quench thirst is strong, but unfortunately, that the body's mood, mental ability and energy levels have already been compromised. "Our thirst sensation doesn't really appear until we are 1 or 2 percent dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform," says Lawrence E. Armstrong, professor of physiology at the University of Connecticut. Armstrong was also the lead researcher in a study on the subject of hydration, which reinforced the importance of drinking plenty of water.

Furthermore, Armstrong advises people to get over the "it won't happen to me" syndrome. He says that people tend to think that only very physically active individuals are prone to dehydration, a belief that is false. "Dehydration affects all people, and staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners, who can lose up to 8 percent of their body weight as water when they compete."

His study examined two groups with age ranges in the twenties. One group was comprised of men and the other, women. After being sufficiently hydrated the night before, each group walked on a treadmill to induce dehydration. Then, things like their reaction time, memory and reasoning were studied. Finally, these abilities were examined again but when the participants were fully hydrated.

The results show that significant changes to the body take place when it's dehydrated. Both genders experienced fatigue and the inability to focus as well, even during mild dehydration. Researchers also noted increased anxiety and fatigue in men, although the incidences were higher for women. Women tended to develop headaches, whereas men were more likely to experience general fatigue or overall tension.

Benefits of drinking more water

Abby Phon, Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, explains that the body benefits tremendously by drinking water.

1.) Flushes out toxins and boosts immunity. Drinking water can keep colds and flu at bay and get rid of toxins through sweat and urination.

2.) Promotes weight loss. The full feeling people get from drinking water makes people less inclined to overindulge.

3.) Keeps the digestive tract healthy. Water is a natural way to relieve constipation and help with digestion.

4.) Increases energy. Having more water contributes to overall energy since it helps lubricate joints, keeps the brain functioning properly and staves off headaches.

How much is necessary? Current suggestions indicate that to stay properly hydrated, people should divide their weight in pounds by half. The resulting number is the approximate number of ounces of water that should be consumed daily.

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