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Dietician reveals the simplest daily habit that improves health

Dietician reveals the simplest daily habit that improves health How to properly drink water to stay healthy (photo: Freepik)

A proper drinking regime improves well-being, can increase productivity, and even contributes to weight loss. In contrast, inadequate hydration leads to a range of serious health issues, says dietitian Oleg Shvets.

How much water should one drink per day

"The human body is approximately 60% water. This percentage is significantly higher at birth (75%) and gradually decreases in adult life. On average, the female body contains 5% less water than the male body," explains the dietitian.

He points out that drinking enough water is one of the simplest and best habits you can practice daily for overall health. It's typically recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water, each containing 250 ml, per day.

Shvets lists 7 confirmed health benefits of consuming more water.

Water improves physical performance

Insufficient hydration can impair physical activity, especially during intense workouts or hot weather.

"Dehydration has a noticeable effect when you lose just 2% of the water content in your body. Often, athletes can lose up to 6-10% of their body weight through sweat. This can lead to changes in body temperature, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue. It can also significantly hinder the performance of both physical and mental tasks," the doctor explains.

It's proven that optimal hydration prevents this and can even reduce oxidative stress, which occurs during high-intensity exercises. This is because muscles are comprised of about 80% water, so it's crucial to drink enough water during intense workouts.

Water affects energy levels and brain function

"Even mild dehydration, such as a 1-3% body weight loss, can negatively impact various aspects of brain function. In a study involving young women, researchers found that a 1.4% fluid loss after physical activity worsened both mood and concentration. It also increased the frequency of headaches," says Shvets.

Research has shown that among young men, a 1.6% fluid loss negatively affected operational memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue. A 1-3% loss of fluids is roughly equivalent to a 0.5-2 kg weight loss for a person weighing 68 kg.

Many other studies involving individuals of various ages, from children to the elderly, have shown that mild dehydration worsens mood, memory, and brain function.

Prevents headaches

In some people, dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines. Research has shown that headaches are one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. In addition, drinking water can help alleviate headaches in those who frequently experience them, says the dietitian.

A study involving 102 participants demonstrated that consuming an extra 1.5 liters of water per day led to significant improvements in the assessment of migraine symptoms. 47% of people who drank more water reported a reduction in headaches, while only 25% in the control group experienced such an effect.

"However, researchers' opinions on the relationship between hydration and migraine symptoms are inconsistent, so additional quality studies are needed to confirm this potential benefit," emphasizes the doctor.

Helps with constipation

In the treatment of constipation, medical professionals often recommend drinking more water. Some studies confirm that low water intake is a risk factor for constipation.

"Increasing hydration helps reduce constipation. Mineral water, rich in magnesium and sodium, which increases the frequency of bowel movements in people with constipation, is particularly helpful. However, the consumption of such water should be limited. Generally, you should consume water with normal mineralization," Shvets explains.

Aids in preventing kidney stones

Stones are clusters of mineral crystals that form in the urinary system, with kidney stones being the most common type. There is limited evidence that water consumption helps prevent the recurrence of kidney stones in individuals who have had them in the past.

"Increased fluid consumption increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This reduces the concentration of minerals, lowering the likelihood of their crystallization and stone formation. It is believed that water also helps prevent the initial formation of stones, but additional research is needed to confirm this," says the dietitian.

Reduces hangovers

Alcohol is a diuretic, leading to increased water loss when consumed. This can result in dehydration.

"It is not the main cause of a hangover, but it can lead to symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, headaches, and dry mouth. A good way to reduce hangover symptoms is to drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages and at least one large glass of water before going to bed," advises Shvets.

Aids in weight loss

The key is that water increases the feeling of fullness. Increased water consumption contributes to weight loss through a slight boost in metabolism, which increases the number of calories burned daily.

"A 2013 study involving 50 young women with excess weight showed that consuming an extra 500 ml of water three times a day before meals over an 8-week period led to a significant reduction in body weight and body fat compared to their measurements before the study," says the dietitian.

Additionally, the timing of water intake is important. It's best to drink water about half an hour before a meal. This helps you feel fuller, and therefore consume fewer calories.

"Even mild dehydration can affect physical well-being and mental state. Ensure that you get an adequate amount of water daily and make sure to have it with you at all times," advises the doctor.

Earlier, we wrote about an inconspicuous symptom that indicates 9 serious illnesses.

Also, read about what you should eat to keep your blood vessels healthy.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.